We’re often asked similar questions about podcasts, so we decided to answer some of the most frequently asked questions for everyone to see. You might want to know, ‘How do I grow my podcast audience?’, ‘When do people start making money from podcasting?’ or ‘Why should a brand start a podcast?’ and hopefully, the answers are here for you.
You can monetise your podcast in a number of different ways.
The most common route is via sponsorship. This is where a brand pays to sponsor the show. The deliverables for sponsorship are often either host-read adverts (where the host of the podcast reads an endorsement for the brand), or spot-ads (which are a little more like radio-style ads, and aren’t generally read by the host).
We’ve included some more details about securing podcast sponsorship in a question below.
You can also monetise through direct listener and community payments, using platforms such as Patreon, Glow, Supercast and many more. This is where your listeners directly contribute money to the podcast, in exchange for features such as ad-free listening, bonus content, interaction with the hosts and much more. These payments may be one-offs or monthly subscriptions.
You can also get inventive with monetisation, exploring routes such as branded content, merchandise or live events.
We are totally transparent with anyone we work with about this – building a successful podcast is not usually a quick win, but is a long-term investment in your career and personal brand.
If making money overnight is the objective, then you might want to rethink your strategy.
Ultimately, audience growth makes it easier to monetise through traditional sponsorship but some brands can also be interested in smaller, niche listener numbers if they sit within the exact target market that they are looking to reach.
If you’d like to go down the podcast sponsorship route, there are a couple of ways you can do this.
There are two main ways you can approach podcast sponsorship.
Firstly, you can work directly with a brand on a bespoke brand sponsorship deal.
In this scenario, you would pitch directly to a brand with a strong alignment to your podcast (and your audience) and broker a deal to work with them.
Bespoke brand deals usually occur when the podcast content has a clear, defined audience and the brand’s target audience aligns seamlessly with the listenership. As a result, the brand would be reaching high quality, engaged listeners in their target demographic.
The commercials of deals like this vary enormously, as do the sponsorship deliverables.
Secondly, you may like to explore dynamic insertion platforms such as Acast or Audioboom. The platforms source sponsorship on your behalf and dynamically insert ads (both spot-ads and host-read ads) into the content). They then take a percentage of the sponsorship paid.
These platforms usually start working with podcasts that have a critical mass of around 10-15k weekly listeners.
A frustrating answer, but there is genuinely no ‘magic’ number.
For bespoke brand deals, the objective is around the quality of the listener and the targeting of the brand to your engaged audience.
Dynamic insertion platforms usually start working with podcasts that have a critical mass of around 10-15k weekly listeners.
In short, we only do this for our own Mags Creative Originals and we aren’t looking to take on any new shows for monetisation.
If you have an existing podcast and think you need some help, we of course offer paid services that might be of interest to you.
We can work with you to develop the concept to ensure that the format is strong and stands out from the market. We also produce high quality audio content – including recording (either remote or in person), editing, sound design and everything in between – that a brand would want to be involved with. And then we would work with you to grow your audience and to cultivate a community around your podcast which may then, inevitably, lead to monetisation.
The answer to this question depends on the objective of your podcast.
For weekly listener growth, our experience has shown that releasing regularly every week is a great way to build listener consistency and engagement.
A steady release schedule enables you to build a relationship with your listeners and to become part of their listening habits.
Other shows may benefit from less regular release schedules.
We’re experts at taking ideas, developing them into strong concepts and formats, and then producing, distributing and growing these shows. We do this on a paid basis as a production company and we’d be happy to scope out a proposal once we know more about your project.
If you don’t have a budget for this, we take on a very small number of projects at the idea stage. We take content submissions through this form to make sure we have all the information we need in one place.
Our top tip for talent booking is to think about the human on the other side of the Inbox.
We build long term relationships with talent agents and agencies, and those always start with relevant, personalised conversations.
As soon as lockdown was announced back in March 2020, our brilliant Head of Audio Kit sprung into action and pulled together the best software and equipment to ensure everything we continued to produce was of the highest quality. To the untrained ear, the audio quality of episodes recorded remotely has barely changed.
We’re also constantly looking out for new and emerging technology that can help better the experience for our clients and guests.
Through this remote setup we have continued producing our own shows, CASTaway, Skin Deep, The Good Stuff and even launched new shows including Who Cares Wins with Lily Cole and Now, Then, Ten with Facebook.
Audio has been one of the only media industries to continue production relatively unscathed during this period and listeners have adapted. We believe that there are also benefits to recording remotely that will continue post-lockdowns, such as securing international guests and suiting more flexible working schedules.
Podcasting has seen an explosion of interest in recent years, and we’re often asked if brands should launch a podcast.
Podcasts offer a unique opportunity for brands to engage with listeners, over a longer form of engagement than a scrolled-past social post or a video.
As a brand, it’s likely that you have a compelling story to tell and a key area of expertise, and podcasts are a perfect content form to explore these.
What data is there to support brands launching podcasts?
We could go on for hours about industry data, but we’ve chosen our top four data points below.
Your target audience is most likely already familiar with the medium.
Podcasts are part of mainstream culture now – over 37% of the UK population have listened to a podcast recently.
2. Listeners will be engaged.
On average, listeners tune in to around 80% of a podcast episode.
When done right, this can go up to 90%.
To put this into context, the average consumption rate of a 30-minute video is 14%.
When it comes to the comparison with text marketing, we know that people recall twice as much information from audio than they do from reading text, we also know that 55% of people admit they spend 15 seconds or less on an article.
Which makes us think, we should probably have created this article in audio rather than text!
3. Listener can tune in anywhere, at any time
79% of podcast listeners listen on their smartphone. As a result, they will be able to listen to the podcast whenever it suits them.
It really is the perfect medium to reach busy people – 32% of people listen to a podcast while travelling or driving, 21% while studying or working and 17% while doing chores.
4. Podcast listeners tend to earn 28% more than the average population.
The success of a branded podcast is entirely dependent on the objective of the podcast. This objective ranges from client to client.
Some clients tell us that reach is their primary goal and therefore downloads would be the main metric of success.
Within this measurement, there are different benchmarks depending on the content of the podcast. A podcast with the mainstream appeal will necessarily bring larger audiences, whereas a niche interest podcast reaching everyone possible within that interest group could be equally as successful.
For others, listener engagement or brand credibility could be the ultimate objective for the show. We set our expectations based on these varying objectives.
Creating a branded podcast is an opportunity to speak directly with your customers, using an actual human voice, sharing relevant conversations and developing meaningful connections.
Brands are able to foster a feeling of intimacy and authenticity, starting a conversation with their listeners.
Podcasts are also a great way to target those hard to reach customers, the “ad-advoiders”. The BBC commissioned a study into this group and found that podcast listening resulted in a 89% increase in brand awareness, 57% in brand consideration, 24% in brand favorability, and 14% in purchasing intent.
Importantly, listeners are 22% more likely to remember brands mentioned in a podcast compared to viewers watching a televised advertisement.
It has been proven that listeners develop associations with your brand based on what they hear during a podcast. In a BBC study, the word “innovative” was said 12 times in an episode. As a result, the study participants were found to be more likely to refer to the brand as “innovative”. Podcasts are a direct way to get your brand ethos and message across.
The cost of a branded podcast depends on a number of different factors. At Mags Creative, we’re able to work with you from the idea stage and concept development, to talent booking, briefing, scripting, as well as recording, editing and distributing and audience growth. We’d suggest allowing budget for costs such as talent fees and paid advertising budgets.
Get in touch with us to firm up your project and we can provide a more detailed proposal.
At Mags Creative, we’ve worked on a number of different podcasts for brands to bring their brand identity and ethos to life. A selection of our work is as follows:
Deliciously Ella Podcast
Come Together by LELO
Shaping the Future by Regent Street
The Red Room by Barry’s Bootcamp
New, Then, Ten by Facebook and Founders Forum