Podcast monetization can feel overwhelming at first, but in this episode of The Headliner Podcast we break down the two main types of monetization you can implement for your podcast, and share a few of the pros and cons of each.

Listen to the full episode.

Direct Podcast Monetization

Direct monetization is when your audience pays you and your show directly. Two examples of direct monetization are subscription and donation-based platforms like Patreon and BuyMeACoffee

The benefit of going with a direct means of monetization is that you aren’t only monetizing your show with them, you’re also building a sense of community with your listeners by having them support you individually.

Another benefit to the direct model is that there is no threshold of downloads or monthly listens to qualify. With Patreon or BuyMeACoffee, you’ll be able to monetize your programming from day one.

One of the big drawbacks to creating a Patreon also happens to be what makes it enticing for listeners to subscribe to it in the first place. Patreon is set up to allow you to offer rewards to your subscribers, depending on the tier of subscription they’ve signed up for. By setting up a Patreon, you’ll be responsible for creating additional, paywalled, content for your paying listeners, on top of the free content that everyone can access.

Examples of Additional Paywalled Podcast Content

  • Early access to new episodes
  • Bonus episodes
  • Vodcasts (video versions of your episodes)
  • Live streams of episodes while they’re being recorded
  • Access to special communities via Slack or Discord

For podcasters looking to incorporate some direct monetization onto their show without adding to their content calendar, there are also options like BuyMeACoffee, which are designed specifically for one-off donations. However, without the additional content being offered, you may see less engagement on those platforms.

Indirect Podcast Monetization

For those looking for something a bit more traditional, there’s indirect monetization for your podcast, which is the marketing and advertising of other goods and services on your show. This could be as simple as an ad read for Audible or Casper and offering a promo code for your listeners to use, or by setting up affiliate links to a product that result in you getting a cut of the profits for its use.

Alternatively, another form of indirect monetization could be using your podcast to leverage your own product or business. Whether it be an online course that you’ve created, a sort of paid consultation on the subject of your podcast that you may offer, or something else entirely, you can use your podcast itself to market your own revenue stream.

The other benefit to going with indirect monetization is that, based off of the terms you’ve agreed to with any brands your marketing, you’re guaranteed a specific amount of money for your involvement. Now this does go both ways in the sense that your show has to have an engaged audience that makes paying you a tantalizing idea for a brand, but if you manage to land an ad with a major company, you at least know you’re guaranteed revenue for it.

So, wether you decide to create additional content in order to attract paying subscribers, or endorse products or services that you like, there are numerous ways to monetize your podcast. You also don’t have to choose, you can put together a mix of direct and indirect monetization that makes the most sense for your podcast.

Don’t forget! No matter what direction you decide to go, creating Headliner videos to promote your podcast on social media is one of the most effective ways you can catch the eyes (and ears) of new subscribers. Get started today for free!