If you're considering starting your own podcast, one question on your mind might be: "How much do podcasters make?" Many starting podcasters want to imagine how much they might potentially make from a podcast if it becomes a success. After all, starting a podcast requires a lot of effort and commitment. So in this article, we'll outline the average income you can expect as a podcaster, as well as give you the list of some of the highest-earning podcasters to boost your motivation!
So let's get straight to it.
What is the average salary of a podcaster?
Of course, as a beginner podcaster you can’t expect to beat Joe Rogan and earn $30 million per year with your show.
So how much does an average podcaster earn? Obviously there is no single answer to this question, as there are too many factors that impact an individual podcaster's salary. How much you earn as a podcaster really depends on how much effort you put into monetizing your show.
For instance, a podcaster using paid advertising, affiliate marketing, and offering premium content will earn more than one who simply relies on paid advertisement. But assuming that you're taking care of the monetization of your show and your podcast episode has somewhere around 10,000 downloads, we'd say it’s possible you can earn about $500-900 per episode.
Of course, if your podcast is hugely successful, you can expect this number to go up to $5000 or even millions once you get famous. But in the beginning, it's helpful to set your expectations realistically.
As you have noticed, the amount you can earn also largely relies on the number of downloads your podcast episodes have. Why do downloads matter? Let's take a look:
Why your episode downloads matter
As in any other industry, some key metrics are used in podcasting to measure the show's success. And one of those metrics is the number of downloads the podcast has. Your potential funders and sponsors will start by taking a look at the number of downloads you have, either per episode or per month, to understand approximately how many listeners you have. This will help them know how many people their ad can reach with your podcast.
So if you want to start monetizing your show through podcast advertisements, you should have at least 5K downloads per month as that is the lowest number sponsors require even to consider collaboration. But keep in mind that this number is often even higher for most sponsors: they are looking for a podcast with at least 10K downloads.
But even when you get the sponsorship, the number of your downloads still matters. This means that the key to a high-paying and successful podcast is building a large and loyal base of listeners who love your content and always return to get more.
What are the highest-earning podcasts?
Want to know what is the most you can earn as a podcaster? We have compiled the least of the highest-earning podcasts and how much revenue each makes:
- - The Joe Rogan Experience: the show has over 190 million downloads per month, bringing it $60 million in revenue per year and making it the highest-earning podcast on our list
- - The Ramsey Show: the show has 13 million downloads per week and earns about $10 million per year.
- - The Daily Podcast: The Daily is a news podcast published daily and hosted by Michel Barbaro, a famous political journalist working for Times. The estimated net worth of the show is $10 million per year. Although according to Podnews, the podcast made
- - Shepard Armchair Expert: The podcast earns approximately $9 million per year and has about 20 million listeners a month
- - The Bill Simmons Podcast: The estimated net worth of the podcast is $7 million per year.
- - Crime Junkie: Crime Junkie is a famous true crime podcast hosted by Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat. The estimated net worth of the show is $6 million per year.
- - The American Life: The show hosted by Ira Glass and produced in partnership with Chicago Public Media earns around $2 million annually.
- - Chapo Trap House: Another podcast bringing $2 million in revenue each year
What are some podcasting jobs, and how much do they pay?
Not everyone who wants to work in the podcasting industry wants to create their own podcast. Some people would be happy to work on an existing podcast and collaborate with a team to make a fun and engaging show. If you're one of those people, here are some positions in the podcasting world you could apply to. And, of course, we also covered how much you would earn for each, according to Indeed:
- - On-air host (~31K/year): The person responsible for narrating the podcast on air.
- - Podcast producer (~32K/year): The producer responsible for creating a successful podcast. Podcast producers usually have a part in all stages of podcast creation - from drafting to distribution.
- - Production assistant (~35K/year): The production assistant ensures the podcast adheres to the pre-planned budget and schedule.
- - Podcast writer (~49K/year): The podcast writer is the one who develops the scripts for the podcast.
- - Executive producer (~68K/year): The executive producer or the showrunner is the one who oversees the entire process and approves different aspects of podcast production.
- - Audio engineer (~87K/year): The audio engineer is responsible for creating the final edit for the podcast episode before it goes live.
How Do Podcasters Monetize Their Show
There are several ways to monetize your show and make money from a podcast! Choose the monetization strategy that suits your podcast best, or even combine some of them to maximize your return.
One of the most common ways podcasters make money is through sponsorships. Sponsorships mainly require you to promote your sponsor during the show. You have probably come across this with at least one of the podcasts you're listening to. Whenever your podcast host starts mentioning their advertiser, you know they're keeping up their end of the sponsorship contract.
Again, how much you earn from sponsorships depends on the number of downloads your episode has. So the more people listen to the advertisement, the more you'll make from it.
There are three main ways to promote your sponsor in your podcast:
- Pre-roll ads: when you run your ad at the beginning of the show
- Post-roll ads: when you run your ad at the end of your show
- Mid-roll ads: when you run the ad in the middle of your show
Many podcasters make most of their revenue from selling merch. If merchandising sounds fun to you, you should come up with ideas for physical products that you can sell and that your listeners will love. What you end up selling will depend on the topic of your podcast and, of course,your main audience.
For instance, if your podcast is targeted at teens and is more entertaining, you can think of selling t-shirts, homeware, or other casual clothing pieces. But if your podcast is more educational, ebooks and learning resources might be more helpful.
An example that can get you inspired can be the merch of the Wine and Crime podcast, which offers a lot of products with short-yet-fun catchlines.
Donations and Crowdfunding
You might not have considered this option seriously, but the truth is that many podcasters rely on their listeners' donations. So if you're one of the independent podcasters firmly against having paid sponsorships in their show and other monetization options do not convince you, you should try crowdfunding.
There are a lot of platforms today that make making donations easy. One of the most famous examples is Patreon. Examples of notable podcasts using Patreon are Nextlander and True Crime Obsessed.
Affiliate marketing is when you get income every time one of your listeners purchases something through your affiliate link. If you want affiliate sales to become a reliable income stream, give it some time. Remember that it is fine to earn only a couple of dollars initially. The revenue will grow over time.
Finally, one of the last monetization strategies on our list is creating and selling premium content to your listeners. Premium content is the episodes that your listeners can only access if they pay for them. Hence, your premium content should have intriguing and exclusive information or entertainment that most of your listeners would love to know.
By the way, if podcasting isn’t yours, don’t worry. There are bunch of other ways to earn money online, so make sure you invest your time in something you actually like.
How to start your podcast with Podcastle
Have an idea for a podcast but don't know how to bring it to life? We're here to help you! All you need to kick-start your show is a good script and Podcastle.
Podcastle is specifically designed for those podcasters who have little audio editing experience and don't want to spend hundreds on recording equipment yet. Our platform is highly intuitive and beginner-friendly so that everyone can create a studio-quality podcast with a few clicks.
Here are some of the features our users love:
- - HD remote audio recording
- - Intuitive and user-friendly audio editor
- - A one-click background noise remover
- - A revoice feature that allows you to create a digital copy of your own voice
- - Speech-to-text converter to automatically generate your podcast transcriptions
- - Silence remover that enables you to get rid of the unnecessary pauses in your audio
- - iOS mobile app to create podcast episodes on the go!
- - An extensive royalty-free music and sound effect library
- - A bunch of AI-powered features to simplify the podcast creation process and easily enhance your audio.
Give podcastle.ai a try today, and have fun while creating your first podcast episode!