Podcaster Joe Rogan made media history on May 20, 2020. That’s when the comedian-actor-MMA fighter announced that his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, had been acquired by Spotify for $100 million. 

The buzz was followed by questions from podcasters, listeners, investors, and media analysts: How could a podcast be worth $100 million? Why would Spotify pay $100 million for access to a single podcast?

Podcasts have become serious business. This wasn’t an impulse decision for Spotify: it was another calculated step in a series of moves to gain market share in the podcasting terrain, hot on the heels of their 2019 acquisitions of Anchor and Gimlet, the largest firms in the podcast distribution space. With each step, Spotify inches closer to dethroning Apple, the number one channel by which people listen to podcasts.

Why are podcasts so valuable? Maybe because they’re exploding. As of October 2020, there were more than 1.5 million podcasts, more than 34 million episodes. Those numbers come with commensurate listeners, listeners for whom, as Tim Ferriss puts it, “audio can be a secondary activity … people can listen to my podcast when they commute, cook, walk the dog, work, etc.” That’s the secret to podcasts’ value: People actually listen to podcast ads.  

A Battle for Ads (and Ad Dollars)

In every Wild West market, there are winners and losers. Today’s up-and-coming podcasters are entering a world with big money potential, thanks in part to the burgeoning of podcast advertising. 

With the volume of podcasts increasing, though, that Wild West landscape is fast-changing. Podcasting is competitive, and figuring out how to cut through the noise is key. A few of the most successful podcasts that have earned substantial advertising revenue include:

Powered by the award-winning journalists at The New York Times, The Daily covers news of the day through interviews with journalists from The Times. As of January 2020, the podcast had 2 million downloads per day, generating ad revenue of $2-$10 per listener

Having surpassed 500 million downloads, The Tim Ferriss Show's guruship translates into ad revenue as well. Projections suggest that he brings in anywhere from $50k-$135k per episode.

Cult-favorite political podcast, Chapo Trap House, is the #2 creator on Patreon, bringing in more than $165k per month in patron support.

And here’s the rough formula, according to VC firm Andreesen Horowitz, “Assuming CPMs of $25-50, if a podcast is in the top 1% in terms of downloads episode, or has 35,000 downloads per episode, each episode could generate about $4,000 per episode with two ad slots.”

The Great Podcast Promise

Whether they’re hosting a podcast about classic rom-coms or a podcast about the quirks of Vermont, all podcasters have three aims in common. 

1) They want to make a great podcast, with the best production value possible.

2) They want to market a great podcast, thereby facilitating discovery

3) They want to sustain a great podcast by building a repeat listenership

The recipe for success is that simple: production + discovery = repeat listenership.

Because repeat listenership accelerates monetization. Remember the rough formula we looked at? Cost per impression matters. 

Yet even though all podcasters share those goals, making a podcast work is tough. The fact is, marketing a great show—the best way to effectively grow your listenership—takes effort.

Maintaining email databases, launching quarterly newsletters, capturing subscriptions, using Facebook Ads: While these marketing tactics have merit, none of them are tailored to the special beast that is the podcast. That’s why so many creators find themselves desperately searching for guides on podcast promotion. 

Podcast marketing has limits. There’s no easy way to share a podcast when listenership spans multiple platforms or to remind users your podcast is going live. It’s even hard to help new listeners discover you.

That’s why we built PodLinks.

Introducing ToneDen PodLinks

PodLinks are marketing landing pages for your podcasts to drive more subscribers, active listeners, and downloads across all streaming platforms. They make marketing your podcast easier, so you can spend more time making a great show.

Increase streams and subscribers with one link for your episodes

Podcasters direct new and existing listeners to a PodLink, where fans can see where your episode(s) are available: Spotify, Apple Music, Stitcher, and more. PodLinks track and measure your listeners, helping you nurture a repeat listenership.

PodLinks also include built-in advertising tools to help you get in front of new viewers on Facebook and Instagram. They capture your listeners’ contact information, helping you automate email messaging and nurture a repeat listenership.

Instant email notifications for new episodes

Once you create a PodLink, it’s easy to share that link with new and existing listeners. If your podcast is upcoming, listeners who encounter the PodLink will have the option to subscribe for updates about your podcast. From then on, listeners will receive emails alerting them to your latest release.

Start crushing your campaigns today

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