A study has shown the results of 1700 new podcasters, and 41% saw their new podcast as an opportunity for additional income, with 29% of those wanting to be their main source of income. There are people who will charge you THOUSANDS of dollars (in three easy payments) who will GUARANTEE a top spot in podcasts apps. They quote their listennotes stats (even when they know they are bogus, see video 1 and video 2) and promote affiliate products – not because they are good – but because they have the highest commission.

Or they give out great advice, like sticking 18 ads into an hour-long show (Are YOU going to listen to that?) from Jon Robert Quinn (who goes by Robert Jones in this Facebook group).

I'm not them. Today I reveal the truth – even if it is not what you want to hear.

So The Plan is to Start a Podcast and Get Advertisers?

Less than 10% of podcasters get the number of downloads per episode after 30 days to get a host ready from a “big sponsor.” source

Programmatic ads have a CPM that may be  around $12 CPM (cost per thousand downloads) source

The median number of podcasters is around 150 (per libsyn), and the average is around 1500. The median on Buzzsprout is 30.

The aver CPM for Advertisecast is $24ish, and they require 10,000 downloads per episode. source

Please note, I'm not saying smaller shows with 1000 downloads an episode can't get a sponsor. With podcasting, it always “Depends” on your topic. If you DO have a hyper niche or hyper-local podcast you can charge more than the rates above.

Bruce Chamoff from the NYC Podcast Network

I first ran into Bruce when he invited me to be a speaker at his Podknow 2023 Online Event. I wanted to talk to Bruce because I don't see eye to eye on some of the things he does, and I wanted to no more. One was having a network where the topics weren't related.

Brice started the NYC Podcast Network back in 2005 (it was the Long Island Podcast Network back then). He has slowly broadened the scope and plans on rebranding it to the Global Podcast Network.

Bruce is monetizing by having podcaster pay to be promoted on his site, which gets 20-25 thousand unique visitors a month. That would put him in the top 20% (Source).

You can join for free or pay a small monthly fee to be featured on the site. Bruce monitors all the activity on the website so you can evaluate your traffic from the site and decide if it's worth the fee, or stay with a free plan (or leave – I'm somewhat worried about having another site competing with YOUR website)

Certain plans on the site allow you to link to our show on popular podcast platforms, as well as monetization links and link to your website (which you can do on your own site for free).

Bruce likens it to a social media site based around podcasting. What makes his site different is his level of categorization.

You can sign up for free, try it, and check your stats to see if this works for you.

My “Thanks Dave” Engagement Experiment

For three weeks, I swapped out my typical School of Podcasting Advertisement and askws people if they felt I had given value over the years (and they had never joined the School of Podcasting) if they would give some of that value back by going to www.schoolofpodcasting.com/thanks

Six people said “Thanks” and gave some value back (Ranging from $5-$25).

Steve at Wayword studios

Letitia Evans

James Cridland From Podnews

Craig Wealand from Ingles Podcast

DR from Mouthy Broad Media

Try Price from Front Porch Studios

If you take 6/1500 that is .04% (not 4% POINT ZERO 4)

I've mentioned in the past that I've heard the VERY popular show Radiolab do a “Fundraiser” type episode trying to get UP TO 1% of their audience to donate. When I've spoken to other people in the industry, a good engagement level is 2-3%.

If I count the people who are Patrons and Students, I'm somewhere near that ballpark.

Mentioned in This Episode

Building a Podcast Network

Behind the Scenes of the Trek.fm Network

How to Start a Podcast Network: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Dave's Listener Survey

Join the Live Focus Group For the School of Podcasting

Question of the Month

Where I Will Be

Daily Podcast Tips

Daily Podcast Tips! Put Your Inbox to Work

About the Author
Owner of the School of Podcasting. Also produces the "Ask the Podcast Coach." He is also the author of the book "More Podcast Money" and is a regular speaker at podcasting and media conventions.
2 comments on “Making a Living as a Successful Podcaster: Are Your Podcast Expectations Substantially Out of Line?
  1. Hey Dave, just FYI, it won’t change your stats much (unless there are many more like me), but I dropped you some SATs via Castamatic boostagram, instead of via your ‘thanks’ page. 🙂

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