Earn money with your podcast: 5 most important revenue models

I’m sure it’s possible to monetize your podcast. Simply because I see a lot of examples around me in the Netherlands and of course across the borders. But you do need knowledge and a good dose of entrepreneurship. That is why you will read the 5 most important revenue models for your podcast in this article.

Want to make money with your podcast? Is that possible? There is no dry bread to be made with podcasting, is it? While I often hear doubts when it comes to monetizing your podcast, I see very different things happening when podcast creators take podcasting seriously. And by that I mean consistently making valuable episodes where their listeners get information and/or inspiration.

Nederlands podcastonderzoek

First some numbers: off Dutch research from the University of Groningen (2019) shows that 65% of podcast listeners have never paid to listen to a podcast. But 22% have paid at some point, usually in the form of a donation. And 13% considered it but did not pay, for example because it was not so easily arranged. Because what also emerged from the research is that you should above all make it easy for listeners to pay.

In a way that suits you

If you want to make money with your podcast, it’s important that you do it in a way that suits you. So it is important to consider the following questions before choosing a revenue model:

  • Want to monetize your podcast?
  • How do you want to monetize your podcast?
  • And how much money do you want to make with your podcast?

Doing something that does not suit you will at some point work against you and that is of course a waste of your precious time and energy. So on to those revenue models.

Earning model 1: your podcast itself

This first revenue model sounds like an open door, but I see that many podcast makers still do not realize that their podcast is a sustainable instrument with which they build a personal and powerful bond with their listeners. With a podcast you create a unique stage for yourself and your message. This will help you build a loyal fan base.

That makes your podcast a magnet for your ideal customers who then convert. This does not only work if you have your own company and are self-employed. It can just as well be part of a larger whole, such as a foundation or a larger company. Then you also have a unique message, knowledge and/or expertise that you can share via your podcast and with which you can turn prospects into customers or donors.

Earning model 2: advertising and sponsoring

To advertise

Placing advertisements in your podcast is still in its infancy in the Netherlands, but is already widely used in countries such as America. There are three options:

  • Pre-roll – an ad before your podcast starts
  • Mid-roll – about halfway through your podcast
  • Post-roll – after your podcast

The post-roll is perceived by the listeners as the least annoying and the mid-roll as the most annoying. It is therefore less recommended. To deal with advertisements to work, do you have a big podcast needed. Range is key. The lower limit for podcast ads is a reach of at least 20,000 listens per month. This market is growing exponentially and is increasing by 20% annually (unlike, for example, advertising in newspapers). Again, enough potential for growth if you opt for this revenue model.


This is the most common and oldest way to monetize your podcast. It is certainly interesting if your podcast is about a specific topic or for a specific listener group. You often have a smaller reach, but a very useful reach for certain companies with a product or service that is close to yours and is complementary. So it feels like a logical combination to listeners.

For example, a podcast about oral hygiene sponsored by a toothpaste brand. At the beginning of the podcast you will hear ‘This podcast is sponsored by…’. Not necessarily, such a company that matches, but that is what often happens when it comes to sponsoring. The Manmanman podcast, for example, has Miele as a sponsor, which is perhaps less in line with the podcast itself. Incidentally, it is not necessary to have a lot of listens per month to hook up with a sponsor. For example, the Paardenpodcast initially had a small reach (a few hundred listeners per month), but was sponsored right from the start by a horse feed brand.

Earning model 3: linking product or service

In your podcast you are happy to share your knowledge, experiences and inspiration about a certain topic. Listeners like to know how to use a product or learn what to do to get the same results as you.

For example, if you are an online marketing specialist and you have a podcast about social media, it is very easy to link a training about social media to it. And as an optician, you can refer to a free eye test at your store or share a discount code with listeners of your podcast. You can earn a lot of money with such links if you do it the right way.

So launched Kim Munnecom last September for the first time an online training via her podcast and thus achieved a turnover of a ton! That’s making money with your podcast.

Earning model 4: collect online leads

In the past, as a marketer, you had a simple marketing mix compared to now. You remember them: the 5 P’s. The internet has opened up many more options for attracting customers. For example, you can collect online leads with blogs and online articles, start an online community, use social media and offer a giveaway, such as a free e-book.

By plugging your podcast into your articles, your community or your social media and by highlighting your free giveaway in your podcast, you can also link such a free giveaway to your podcast. In this way, different channels reinforce each other, so that you collect interesting leads. You can then send these leads valuable content in the form of emails, videos or audio files. Ultimately, these leads are warmed up to start working with you or buy a product from you if you make an offer.

Earning model 5: crowdfunding

In America, this fifth revenue model is regularly applied and you see it more and more in the Netherlands. For example, the American Mike Schubert has a podcast about Harry Potter books. Pretty exciting you might think. But he has a huge number of listeners, his podcast has been downloaded more than 50 million times. And by linking his podcast to Patreon (a membership platform) he can live off that podcast. So it can be that simple!

Do you think that this is only possible in America? There are also special platforms in the Netherlands, such as ‘hats off‘ on ‘Friends of the show‘ which includes podcast makers such as Giel Beelen, Angelique Houtveen and Sander Schimmelpenninck. Sander decided to stop as a presenter and to focus entirely on his podcast that he has with his school friend Jaap. In the newspaper Tubantia he said: “I’m going full for the podcast, you can earn serious money with it. It is the only medium (…) that is growing significantly.”

As the research conducted by the University of Groningen revealed, the Dutch are also willing to pay to listen to a podcast. You can arrange this via a crowdfunding platform, for example. Through such a platform people can easily sponsor you for an amount per month or per year. It is often small amounts, which makes the threshold low. And by offering sponsors/donors something extra that ordinary listeners don’t get, you quickly cross that threshold. The main thing is that you offer extra value.

There are many more

So much for the 5 most important revenue models to link to your podcast. And here are a few more. Because linking merchandise, paid guests in your podcast, podcasting for the broadcaster (for example, you can submit your pitch to NPO or BNR), linking events, affiliate marketing, building a community and so on are ways to monetize your podcast directly or indirectly.

So, do you still think it’s not possible to monetize your podcast? Doesn’t seem like it to me, right? I myself believe that there is no shortage of money. But a lack of knowledge and good examples.

I hope this article has contributed to getting your creative brain going, so that you, too, will start earning money from your podcast.

Source: Frankwatching by www.frankwatching.com.

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