You can further enhance their memberships by creating exclusive a member-only private podcast for your members. This allows you to continue monetizing your content while you give members even more of what they love. As a new medium to turn to, it can also let your members listen offline, and let you keep track of how your members engage with your content.
1. How Can I Use Private Podcasting For My Extra Content?
People who consume content love to see extra, behind-the-scenes content and exclusive content that non-membership having fans don’t have access to. By offering access to an exclusive members only private podcast, you’re giving your fans more ways to become immersed in your content. Having members-only exclusive content is also a great way to attract new members.
You might already have some of this content on hand. Did you do an interview and write an article that only covered part of it? Release the entire recording as a podcast episode. Have extra content on a certain topic, or dive deeper on a topic that you’ve covered? Release it as a podcast episode. Utilize the content that you have on hand and might have cut before, allowing you to make the most of the work that you’ve already done while providing your members with more of the content they enjoy.
2. How Can I Integrate This With My Current Subscriptions?
Your current membership options may have various pricing tiers and rewards (different amounts per month, or tiers for specific time lengths) to choose from, so your members can decide their level of contribution. With the addition of a members only private podcast, you can give access to different channels for different tiers, with each tier producing its own audio and video content.
Build your membership podcasts into your existing tiers at certain price points, or have it as its own tier. By offering it as part of your paid memberships, your members will be willing to pay for a higher tier to access this exclusive content.
3. What Benefits Are There To Using Audio and Video Formats?
Whether it’s through Apple CarPlay or through the Podbean app on any mobile device, podcasts are mobile by nature and travel in ways that other media can’t. Your exclusive content can now be experienced and consumed without binding your member to just one task at a time. Choose from audio and video podcasts to ensure that your content is explored and covered in the medium that best suits the topic.
Podcasting also allows for offline listening. It’s frustrating to have unreliable internet connections disrupting the engagement of your content, but by allowing your members the option to download and listen offline means that they can access it anywhere without worrying about interruption.
4. What Podcasting Tools Can I Use To Enhance My Memberships?
With a members only exclusive podcast, you want to ensure that you’re giving them content they’re the most interested in. With our Engagement Intel tools, see what content your members listen to the most and tailor your content to increase their level of engagement. This also allows you to see opportunities to improve on content that’s not getting as much interaction as other content.
You can also set expiration dates on time-sensitive content utilizing tools like Podbean’s Time Bomb service, which allows you to content just for your members for certain periods. No longer do you have to worry about someone trying to use a coupon or discount code that’s expired – once you’ve set it to expire, the content gets removed.
5. How Can I Keep This Content Members-Only?
Security is a prime concern when it comes to any of your content, let alone your exclusive private podcast. You want to ensure that only your members get access to your exclusive content in your private podcast – but how do you ensure that access is granted to only them?
SSO (Single Sign On) allows your members to use the same login credentials they use for your other content, so there’s no need to create new passwords or seperate emails. This ensures that only members you’ve approved can access your exclusive content.
Your members enjoy your content on its own, but there are always ways to increase its impact. By including an exclusive private podcast for your members, give them something extra to look forward to while giving yourself another way to monetize the content you’ve worked so hard on.
Running many shows involves a lot of moving parts, especially when you’ve decided to turn your collection of shows into a podcast network. There are added benefits to starting a podcast network – especially when it comes to keeping your content organized and accessible.
1. Multiple Channels
With all the shows that are part of your podcast network, you want to make sure that your shows organized in their own place. Even if you’re very specific on the topics you offer in your network, you still want a way to organize your content so listeners can choose to listen to one particular topic over another.
Utilize different channels for your shows in your podcast network. You allow yourself another schema by which you can keep your shows in line. This also allows your listeners to tune it to the show they’re looking for. Your listeners won’t have to sort through other topics to find just the episodes they want. Even if your content is uniform in topic, you can still benefit from organizational tools.
2. Unlimited Storage and Unmetered Bandwidth
You’ve got a lot of content, and you want to make sure that it’s accessible to anyone and everyone. But that can’t happen with caps on how much storage you have and how much bandwidth you have access to.
Podbean offers unlimited storage and unmetered bandwidth for starting a podcast network. Use as much as you need without worrying about overage fees. Your content won’t get deleted or lose quality as the month progresses.
3. Dynamic Ad Insertion Tools
With a network, you have sponsors and advertising – you sometimes even run ads for one show on another show for the cross-promotional angle. But manually going into each episode and inserting your ads can get tedious, and there may be other, more pressing matters at hand that you and your employees need to take care of.
Utilize dynamic ad insertion tools. You can upload your ad, set the time stamp, and have it inserted in all your uploaded episodes. Or have it set to upload into any episodes as you post them. With something like Podbean’s PodAds service, you can set a start and end date to your advertising campaigns. You can also have different campaigns running alongside each other, monetize your back episodes, and so much more.
4. Find New Sponsors
Sponsorships for your podcast can be extremely beneficial. They can help you monetize (and even cross promote in many cases) your podcasts. There are elements to finding sponsors that are time-consuming and take your attention away from other elements of producing content. Often times, sponsorships are negotiated via communication (email, web form submissions, etc). However, there are ways that you can ease this process and be paired with sponsors to help your show.
By taking advantage of a tool such as Podbean’s Ad Marketplace your podcast network shows are placed at the attention of dozens of different sponsors. It’s a free, simple way to earn money using Podbean’s platform. Best of all, you can join Podbean’s Ads Marketplace for free. You are notified when your podcast has been selected for a campaign, but you can also opt out at any time.
You’ve put a lot of work into your shows, and making the decision to create a podcast network. By utilizing the tools and services offered, you can take advantage of the benefits and keep your content organized and accessible.
By using podcasts for education, you can offer a new learning system that benefits mobile and non-traditional students, while providing long-distance learning opportunities to those that wouldn’t otherwise have them. It can also provide room for extra content, teaching aids for traveling or otherwise absent teachers, and a new learning style that benefits all learning styles.
People crave knowledge the way they crave a good meal or a warm bed. From questioning “why the sky is blue?” to “how does centrifugal force work?”, we’re constantly questioning and learning about everything. Education is a cornerstone of our society, and with the leaps and bounds we’ve made with modern technology, we can rework the way it fits into our lives.
It’s easy to picture the average college student as someone who goes to campus, attends class all day, and then returns home to study or go to work. However, According to statistics from the AASCU, nontraditional students were practically the norm – hitting as high as 86% in 2010. In the past decade, the numbers have shown that older students with careers and families are a huge college campus demographic.
Even beyond the classroom, people desire knowledge. In the last ten years, modern mediums such as YouTube channels have highlighted a desire for a mobile, audiovisual solution that can often be devoted to educating everyone on a wide range of topics from sewing and changing tires to astrophysics and complex mathematical theories.
People aren’t bound to classrooms, so their access to knowledge shouldn’t be either. By introducing podcasts in education, you provide a mobile way for people to learn, no matter the topic or skill level. With just a few clicks, they can play and pause at their leisure and let the podcast work with their schedule, instead of trying to work their learning around it. Options are available for iOS and Android, and allow integration with Alexa devices and Apple Carplay, meaning that your podcast is reachable no matter where your listeners are at.
2. Audio and Video Podcasts
Certain areas of study my benefit from either an audio or video explanation. There are also people who learn better being shown over just hearing the explanation. While you try to adapt a teaching style that benefits everyone, there’s always a chance that someone is going to get confused or not properly understand the material.
With video and audio podcast hosting, you can create podcasts for education in the format that best fits the content you’re teaching. Create content to approach topics from another direction to add nuance and additional material to ensure that any and all students understand the subject.
3. Philanthropy Opportunities
Universities, schools, and other educational programs often offer philanthropy and crowd-funding opportunities as a way for their community to give back to a program that provided them with a valuable education.
Built-in crowdfunding tools such as Podbean’s Patron Program and Premium Podcasts allow listeners to donate to your podcast. Using these built in crowdfunding tools, you can create a platform to crowdfund special projects that couldn’t be otherwise accomplished.
4. Cost-Effective Tools
Educators often find themselves in the situation of wanting to provide the best education with the best tools, but not having the funds to provide for said tools. Some teachers have even been known to crowdfund for necessary tools like paper, glue, and markers.
There are various price options for budgets of all shapes and sizes. No surprise fees means that predictable pricing and works well into cost planning for the school semester or year. With the added benefit of being able to record straight from the Podbean app, anyone – no matter the time, place, or monetary constraints – can easily record and publish a podcast.
5. Keeping Track With Private Podcast Options
If you want to make your educational podcasts available only to your students, as well as keep your content sorted and your classes organized, you may want to consider our private podcast solution.
With our private podcasting solution, you can easily sort students into groups and set access to one channel or multiple according to what classes your students are enrolled in. Have a student that’s in two of your classes at the same time? Grant them access to both podcast channels at the same time.
Our User Engagement intel can help you gain insight into how your students interact with the content. You can review your student’s engagement with your podcasts such as plays, replays and where they’re pausing. With this, see who’s accessing the material and opportunities to expand on topics the class or course may be having trouble with.
Education and knowledge are highly valued, but sometimes there are roadblocks when it comes to going through the educational system in a world full of variables like jobs and families. But using podcasts for education, you can help ease the roadblocks and let everyone – no matter what they do at home – access the knowledge to move forward in life.
Privacy is a major concern no matter who you are, but in the era of data leaks and bot accounts, people are getting more invested in how they secure their information online. This includes private and internal podcasts. In order to privatize them, you need the necessary level of security to ensure that only the intended users can access your content.
There are different methods of securing your private podcast with varying degrees of privacy and security. One trivial method of podcast privatizing is scrambling your Feed URL. By scrambling the URL of your episode, the likelihood of a non-intended user discovering and accessing your podcast greatly decreases. However, while a scrambled URL makes your podcast difficult to discover, it should be noted a scrambled URL does not usually require a username and password to access, therefore making it accessible to anyone who has the link. As an example, if someone emails and/or texts the scrambled URL to someone outside of the company or posts it online somewhere (forum, social media, etc.), anyone who clicks that link can now access that content.
Furthermore, scrambling the feed URL does not provide a digital footprint back to the person who shared it, so accountability is difficult to enforce. This needs to be a point to consider when thinking about how accessible you want your podcast to be.
A more secure solution for protecting your private podcast is to have your feed URL accessible only by password and email. Podbean’s private podcasting solution ensures that your private episodes are truly inaccessible via a public link and needs a username and password to access your content. Once your private podcast is published, each episode file is moved to secure storage and will require a pair of email and password to access.
Podbean’s private podcasting solution also allows you to integrate your company’s Single Sign On (SSO) login. Users can use SSO login to access your private podcast on Podbean Podcast App, your white label App, or your Podbean podcast website. Podbean’s intuitive interface and powerful admin tools make revoking access to your private podcast as easy as removing the user from your member list. Once their access is revoked, they can no longer access your content.
When it comes to private podcasts, you could be using them for a school group, internal communications for a company, or as a private community looking to share information without other people intruding on your content. By understanding the security and privacy measures that are available to you, you can decide which one works best for your privacy needs.
Communication is the beating heart of any company. Whether it’s the company-wide newsletter informing everyone about new policy changes, or it’s the new product release briefing, communication is how your employees learn new information, form bonds, and align around company goals.
Podcasts can do more than entertain – they can inform and educate in a medium built to be mobile and accessible. They offer a way to organize your communications into channels with specific accesses and provide opportunities for your employees to share their knowledge (with approval from admins appointed by you, of course).
According to BlogIn, out of the 80% of the workforce that’s not bound to a desk in the office, only 13% of them feel engaged at work. Of the 2.7 million people working away from a desk, 84% of them don’t feel as though they’re receiving attention and engagement from top management, and 75% feel they don’t get informed about new policies and company goals.
With so many roles in your company, some of your workers might not always be at their desk. Some might work from home, some might work remotely from other cities, and some might travel frequently. Podcasting combines the portability and group-focused nature of email while combining the personability and hands-on take of a phone call.
By using podcasts for internal communications, your employees have the same level of access across the board, no matter where they’re working. And it’s in a format that allows them to get informed while doing things like traveling, commuting, or working from home.
2. Group Content
There are occasions that call for company-wide communication, but you’ve also got department-specific information that would clog up the feeds of all your other employees. Instead of getting straight to the information they need, they’ll have to search for it through your memo or newsletter.
Podbean’s Enterprise Podcasting Solution for internal communication lets you organize your employees into groups, and grant access to certain podcast channels created specifically for their role. Got information just for the Marketing team? Give them access to only the Marketing podcasts. Do your Sales and Marketing teams need to understand the same content? Give them access to both the Sales channel and Marketing channels.
Your employees won’t have to sort through a whole newsletter to find the information that is pertinent to them and their situation. They get the right information in a timely manner, and in a way that lets them access the most up-to-date info available.
3. Detailed Analytics Tools
One of the biggest concerns with dispensing information within your company is that people aren’t going to read it or access it. There could be multiple reasons for this, but at the end of it all you won’t know unless they tell you, or an occasion arises that’s negatively impacted by their lack of information.
Analytic tools offer you the chance to know how your employees engage with the podcast, if they’re stopping or skipping parts, and opportunities to expand on knowledge they might have difficulty with.
Podbean’s analytic tools, such as User Engagement Intel, gives you insight into your podcast’s plays and replays, where someone stops or skips, and how they listened – all while providing optimum privacy and anonymity.
4. Collaborative Team Tools
Regardless of the size of your company, it can be difficult for a single person to create all of the internal communication while balancing their other responsibilities to your business. Collaborative efforts for your internal communications podcasts can create unique opportunities, such as marketing information straight from the marketing team.
Using tiered admin roles, your employees can submit content for review. Admins appointed by you can edit and approve this content for publication. This gives your employees a chance to take on responsibilities and leadership roles that prove their knowledge of the company and their role. It also lets you delegate roles and responsibilities in a way that lets you stay in the loop while letting you focus on other tasks.
5. Audio and Video Podcasts
Having options to dispense information to your employees means that you can offer communication in different formats suited to the information. Depending on the information and the environment that your employees are in, it might be more suitable to offer video in place of audio.
With audio and video formats available for your podcast channels, you can offer information in the format that best suit the needs of your employees and the information. Unlimited storage combined unmetered downloads and bandwidth means that there’s plenty of space for all your internal communication no matter the format.
While there’s plenty of places to post videos online, keeping them both private and accessible to your employees can be an unnecessary struggle. By opting to publish video content as an internal communications podcast, you can ensure that all employees – but just the employees – can access your content.
Communication is the bedrock of every company, and if it’s unstable or damaged then the rest of the structure will soon come down. There are numerous ways to improve upon it, but using podcasts for internal communication has added benefits that lend to mobility, accessibility, and contributing and leadership opportunities.
When Dr. Scott Cooper sits to record his podcast, he’s surrounded by an eclectic collection of odds and ends in his office-turned-recording studio. Such items include: a 1980s bathroom condom machine he restored, skeletons (though he assured us they’re not human), smoking memorabilia (including packs of cigarettes from the 1940s), and – one of the strangest things yet – a saw he almost cut his leg off with.
“It still has blood on it,” he says. “I engraved it with the date and the time, and I hung it on the wall.”
Not every item in his office has such a morbid history to it, but that doesn’t mean they have no history altogether. Quite the contrary. Every item has an era attached to it, a memory or a meaning that brings his collection to a new light. You definitely don’t have to be a history buff like Scott to appreciate the antiquity on his shelves. But if there’s one thing that’ll get you on track to being one, it’s his podcast.
Cooper records multiple episodes of his podcast History of Every Day at a time. He has to, really – when he’s not working on his podcast, quite a bit of his time is devoted to teaching people about history.
“I actually work with several different schools. I’m an adjunct professor for three different universities, and during the day I’m a full-time high school history teacher. I’m a busy guy! I don’t sleep much, and I get a lot done. Let’s put it that way. And the nice thing about being able to record and not sleep is I can record an entire month’s worth of daily podcasts in one evening and then schedule them out.”
His podcast started small, in the same desire that sees him in all these teaching positions: to share his knowledge and love of history with the people around him.
“I’ve always wanted to do a podcast. It just seemed second-nature to me, to get in and say, ‘You know what? I talk about history every day, I teach history every day, and to be able to talk about what happened on this day in history?’ Because people always asked me before, “Hey, what’s the special date today? Is it National Frankfurter Day?” And I was able to come up with that off the top of my head, so it just kinda fit hand-in-hand to be able to do that in a podcast format.”
Not only is he sharing his podcast around town, it’s been implemented by other schools and other teachers as a learning aid. Classrooms coast-to-coast use his daily podcast as a way to introduce the day’s topic and kickstart their students’ ability to get into the subject.
“I get emails from time to time from schools around the country that listen to my podcast as a bellringer, so they start the day off with that in history class. They say, ‘Let’s talk about what happened on this day in history,’ and since it’s so short, it really gives the students an overview. There’s a lot of schools out there that will use this as a two-minute ‘Let’s warm up, this is what I’m gonna play’, just to get you in the mode of ‘let’s talk about history now”.”
The irony of it all?
“I hated history in high school! Hated it, as most people did. Just, truly disliked history. I cannot stand the old-school history teachers (there’s still some out there!) that will talk for two hours, and then have you regurgitate exactly what they talked about. I was actually in the corporate world for a while before I got into education. And just kinda fell in love with history when I started to realize that I have the gift for gab and I have a story-telling ability. So when I talk about history . . . I tell all my classes this: history is not something you memorize, it’s a story.”
With a big, wide-spread podcast like History of Every Day, there’s got to be some options for monetization – right?
“I have received a few advertisements, some things from different organizations that recorded their own [ads] and threw them in there. It’s not much money, but it’s interesting to see what people want to advertise. Some of them were pretty local. One of them was very local – they only wanted to pay if it was in like, a one square mile area of where they were at . . . One of them was the university, which was kind of nice.”
The university being, of course, Indiana University, in his home town of Bloomington. Cooper describes it as an oasis in the corn-filled state of Indiana, a place to slide on some Birkenstocks and those 80’s knit ponchos and just enjoy the scenery. (This also happens to be a university famed for quite a few alumni, including the best-selling author Suzanne Collins, but that’s a whole different talk for another time.)
As of the time of the interview Cooper currently runs his intro through PodAds, using the dynamic ad-insertion service as a way to introduce his episodes. Not only does it give him more time to focus on teaching and recording, it also gives him an example of how he’d insert his ads to show future sponsors.
“What I do is I have an intro that I put in there that I use for my pre-podcast, a fifteen to twenty-second spot that I recorded. I will use that also when I do go out and get some advertisements for people to listen to, I always point them to my intro, which is just where I talk about what I do and all that. You gotta be creative.”
History of Every Day currently has 364 episodes (almost the full year!), with over a hundred-thousand downloads. It exists as a reminder that every day has a chunk of history attached to it, and that there’s always a little time to learn something new. So if you’re looking for some cool history to impress your family and friends, Dr. Cooper’s podcast is one of the best ways to go.
About The Author By day, a marketing writer for Podbean. By night, surrounded by eclectic projects like stop-motion puppets, half-knit sweaters, and a violin that won’t learn to play itself. Certified Fresh(c) by both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in English.
Information moves quicker than ever, and so does your workforce. More and more people are working remotely, or traveling city to city and state to state for conferences and conventions – which means they can’t just jog over to the boss’s office and ask a question. While phone calls and emails can get the job done, it’s time-consuming to make call after call or CC everyone in an email.
What if there was a way to keep your team informed while cutting down on time spent on phone calls and emails? What if there was a way to lead your team, no matter how far away they were?
Podcasts for internal communication through Podbean mean that the most up-to-date info is in the palm of your workforce’s hands at all times. Not only is it a time-saving way to provide corporate training materials and internal communication, it remains accessible in ways that phone calls and emails might not be. Your information can be paused and replayed, and works as a resource your team can turn to whenever they need help, have questions, or need to refresh their memory on company data.
Internal communication podcasts also allow you to know who’s listening to your corporate training materials. The analytical tools show you who’s playing what episode and if they pause, replay, or skip any parts of the podcast. Making sure your team is trained and knowledgeable is one of your top priorities. Now you can pinpoint what skills a team member might have an opportunity to develop, or if they’re receiving the training they’re supposed to be getting.
Security is another one of your top priorities. From the Single Sign-On (SSO) service that allows your team to sign in with the secure login they already use to private podcasts protected with encryption software, you get to decide who has access to your internal communications and corporate training materials. Add and sort employees as your company grows to make sure they get access to the correct internal communication podcast.
From marketing to sales to accounting to administration, you’ve got a lot of information to share across your company. Using the Groups feature, sort your information, training, and other internal communication with different podcast channels. Set group access to just one or two channels, or to every channel, to ensure that everyone is getting the proper, laser-targeted training they need.
Information is always moving, always changing. By using podcasts for internal communication, not only can you keep up, you can make sure your team can, too.
You’ve got a fantastic tool – a podcast for corporate training. Even with this modern medium, there are ways to pump up your training materials and make sure they’re heard by everyone who needs to hear it. Here are five ways to make your podcast work harder for you.
1. Use what you’ve got on hand.
Training isn’t new in the corporate setting. There’s always a seminar to attend, a conference to fly to, internal panels or forums to participate in. And with the way life goes, you’re always going to have a team member that gets sick, or can’t go, or has an appointment that means they can’t attend or participate.
That doesn’t mean your information and corporate training have to go from a full-tilt to a screeching halt.
Podcasts are ready-made for consumption on the go and on-demand, and it takes no work at all to turn recordings of corporate training, seminars, and internal panels/forms into podcast episodes. So not only will the information you need to spread exist in a form the attendees can access and check, it allows your traveling team members to access corporate training materials they wouldn’t have been able to before.
2. Use a secure log-in feature.
Security should always be your first major concern. You’re using a media format that is widely accessible, but the last thing you want is Joe Somebody listening to your company’s podcast. But you’ve already got a trusted security company handling your log-ins and technology – how can that work with your podcast?
With SSO (Single Sign-On) login service, incorporate the sign-in service you already use into your corporate training podcast. Let your team members use the same email and password they use for work, and know that your content sits secure and accessible while cutting down on password-juggling.
3. Let your team members submit content.
As much as you want to do everything yourself, sometimes a little help from the group can go a long way – especially when it comes to something as expansive as a communications podcast. Why not let a few members of your team submit content to your corporate training podcast?
With the tiered admins, delegate roles to your podcast team. Let your contributors submit their content while channel admins approve it for publication or dole out some edits. Let your admin oversee and manage all your channels (second only to you as the corporate admin). With everyone chipping in and making it a group effort, your corporate training podcast functions as more than just a training tool: it’s a collaborative effort that has your team working together to improve how everyone learns.
4. Set groups and organize podcast access.
You’ve got a large team with multiple branches. The training that applies to your design team won’t benefit your marketing team. And trying to sort accessibility by individual names can be arduous and is just asking for a mix-up to happen.
Look no further than the handy Groups feature! Sort your team members into groups, and set access to your corporate training podcast in batches instead of by name. Want your head of marketing to have access to both the marketing podcast and the design podcast? Members can be part of multiple groups as easily as they’re part of one – no extra hassle to put their names in multiple places or have multiple points of access.
5. Use engagement intel to analyze participation with your content.
So you’ve made you podcast, you’ve got your team members securely signed in and listening to their selected podcasts, you’ve got them submitting content for your approval (or the approval of someone you’ve chosen to approve these sorts of things!), and now you’re wondering what to do next. Your podcast is out in the world – what do you do?
Monitor how your team members engage with it, that’s what!
With the comprehensive engagement analytics, see how your team members interact with your corporate training podcast. Where they pause, where they rewind, what section they replay. Get an insight as to who’s listening for how long, and what material gets more attention. This is your chance to fine-tune your podcast, to make targeted changes and improvements, and cater to the attention and learning style of your team members.
Your corporate training podcast is already the best tool in your shop when it comes to long-distance and on-the-go learning. But with this list, you can fine-tune and sharpen that tool to make it even better. To learn more about Podbean’s corporate training tools, check out our corporate training solution website here.
The ad itself is a live read during one of their shows, and featured Collin Willardson (Mack Weldon’s marketing manager) playing as an underwear model while comedian Paul F. Tompkins pretended to be a Mack Weldon executive and poked fun and teased him. The live read is over seven minutes long, but despite its length, it sent listeners in droves to the Mack Weldon website.
So now a quarter of their monthly budget goes to podcast advertising. They still use visual ads, of course, but there’s an added facet that drives them to continue to use it – including the lack of competition for attention during the ad slot itself.
“We paid for native and display ads on online publications before, but we found that readers could easily get distracted by 48 things on the homepage,” says Willardson.
But monetization has more effects than just hyping up the person who is sponsoring you. Take a look at the popular sci-fi radio-drama podcast Wolf 359. At its height, it was pulling in $3,500 a month (enough to pay its voice-acting crew and pay for the studio space), but by monetizing their podcast they were also able to grow as a people beyond their podcast. “I’ve gotten some of my best paid voiceover gigs because someone knew my name,” says Zach Valenti, one of the main voice actors for the show. Even Welcome to Night Vale, one of the longest-running sci-fi podcasts, started as three guys recording with Audacity in someone’s apartment and grew to a show that tours internationally through the power of podcast advertising and monetization.
There are millions of reasons to monetize your podcast, but that should never be the question. Your question should be, “What can I do to make sure my advertising is as beneficial as possible?”
At A Glance
In its current state, podcast advertising is a market that can only grow. According to a study done by WARC data, spending is expected to increase to 1.6 billion dollars by 2022 if it keeps track with its yearly 4.5% growth from 2018 to 2019. Compared to 2017-2018’s growth of a mere 1.9%, it’s clear that it is profitable enough to have advertisers and sponsors make more room for it in their budget.
But what are the listener’s opinions? 1 out of 3 people listen to podcasts worldwide, with varying degrees of the same stat across generational lines. And most listeners have stated that they’ve taken some form of action after hearing podcast advertising, from purchasing or investigating a product to reaching and following a brand on social media. The podcast as a medium is changing how people consume and interact with content, and that extends out to how they consume and interact with the advertising.
As stated before, it should never be a question as to why you should consider this – monetization is its own reward, after all – but what is the best way to do it? It is, after all, another level of responsibility beyond just producing your podcast, and you’d hate to put in a whole lot of work just to find out that there might’ve been a different path to take.
Thankfully, that’s where this article comes in.
Finding an advertiser
One of the first steps to advertising is to find someone to advertise on your podcast. There are two main routes to go for when it comes to podcast advertising: you can either find a sponsor on your own, or you can have your hosting website help you find advertising.
The one that’s easiest for newcomers would be to have your host site help you find the advertising. Hosting sites like Podbean offer something akin to an ads marketplace, where you can opt in to the service and have the ads inserted at points in your audio preselected by you. There is a cost, but it’s usually just a cut of the generated ad revenue, so at no point will you be in the negative for running podcast advertising.
The next option would be to search for sponsors on your own. This is generally more intensive than joining ad marketplaces through your podcast hosting site, but it allows you more freedom in how you want to run your ads. The best way to go about this is to take a look at podcasts that discuss the same topics you do and see who’s advertising with them. Chances are, they’d be ready and willing to sponsor your show as well.
With your own sponsor, you’ll have to figure out how you’d like to insert your ads. You can either read them organically during your recording of your audio, or you can dynamically insert them after the recording. Dynamic insertion is discussed later in the article.
How does podcast advertising work?
Podcast advertising can run in three different spots in your content: preroll (before your audio plays), postroll (after your audio plays), and midroll (a set point during your content).
Preroll and postroll audio sort of run the same route, and tend to run 15-30 seconds on average. Midroll ads, on the other hand, run 30-90 seconds on average, and have the added benefit of letting control how the ad flows in your content. Not to imply that you can’t control the flow of your preroll or postroll ads, or that the flow is automatically there if you choose to to insert your ads at the midroll point, but there are unique opportunities that make the midroll ad a more desirable slot for advertisers and sponsors.
In fact, that spot is so desirable that the industry standard pay for a midroll slot is about $25-$50 per CPM, while the standard industry pay for preroll and postroll ads runs about $18-$25. Not solely because it’s longer, but because it has the chance to be more smoothly inserted in your content to explain its story and invite a call-to-action that’s less rushed than the preroll and postroll slots.
Quick sidenote: what’s CPM? CPM is basically advertising slang for 1000 downloads or impressions. So when a sponsor offers a 40-second midroll slot for $35 per CPM, that’s $35 paid to you for every 1000 downloads or plays of the content that the ad plays in. So if your podcast episode gets a solid 2000 plays and has just the one ad, that’s $70 for that ad for that episode.
This could also include if your content is downloaded and only partially played through. Studies show that the majority of people finish a podcast episode they start, so it might not be something to worry about, but if for any reason they episode only partially plays it still counts towards that CPM.
How to manage your ad campaign and insert your ads
Your advertisers will pay for campaigns that run a specific length – say, for eight episodes, or for all the episodes of a two-month period. There are different ways to insert your ads, but the two main ways to do it would either be dynamic insertion or host-read.
Host-read advertising is recorded inside the content at the same time as the podcast. It’s incorporated into the script to match the same tone and flow as the episode, and works in the same way as Mack Weldon’s ad in Comedy, Bang! Bang! The downfall is that the content is permanently part of the content, and can’t be switched out or removed as the episode ages. This could lead to confusion with listeners over deals, promos, or discount codes offered.
Dynamically-inserted ads can be read/recorded by the host, but they differ in that you can insert them after they’ve already been uploaded to your host website. You preset specific times for the ads to be inserted, or even insert the ads as you upload the episode. This allows you to change the ads as the episode ages, or even monetize your back episodes. This option works best for those who have their own sponsors found outside of the ad marketplaces within hosting sites, or for podcast networks that wish to cross-promote across multiple channels.
There is also a chance that your chosen hosting site might charge a fee for dynamically inserting the ads, but they’re usually minimal and take from the money per CPM the ad is paying. (Podbean, for example, only asks for $1 per CPM for the dynamic ad insertion.)
Preparing your podcast for ads
Even if you don’t plan on monetizing your podcast tomorrow, it bodes well to plan on doing it at some point in the future. Not only does it give you the chance to practice how you want to prepare for your episodes, it gives you the option to monetize your back episodes. You will already have done the footwork of making sure there’s a specific spot to insert the ad, so when the time comes all you have to do is opt it in for dynamic insertion, or manually insert the ad.
The best way to prepare your podcast for advertising is to keep in mind where the natural breaks of your content lie, and to make sure you’re not cutting your content in a way to make it sound disjointed upon playback with the podcast ads. By giving yourself that clear break, and making sure it’s clean and doesn’t cut off any speech in your audio, you make that episode a good candidate for monetization in the future.
Ten years ago, five years ago, even one year ago, podcast advertising was a mere shadow of what it is now. It’s ever-growing, ever-increasing in leaps and bounds. Willardson of Mack Weldon even said that this 25% they now spend each month on podcast advertising is 100 times what they spent this time last year. It’s changing the way people think of advertising and marketing, and how they tell the story behind their services and products. And it can change the way you think about your podcast.
With podcast advertising and monetization, you can turn your podcast into something that supports itself and in time, supports you – in more ways than one.