How Do Podcasts Make Money? We’ll Cover 8 Effective Methods

How Do Podcasts Make Money? We’ll Cover 8 Effective Methods

38% of all Americans regularly listen to podcasts, making them a mainstream form of entertainment or learning method. 

With growing popularity and easy access to quality production tools, starting your own podcast is more achievable than ever. 

Whether you’re looking to start a podcast on a private hosting service or work under a network – let’s answer how do podcasts make money with these eight monetization methods.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission if you make a purchase through those links. This comes at no additional cost to you.

How to Make Money With Podcasts

Podcast listeners are some of the most active internet users, surpassing other social media demographics.

Considering the industry’s popularity, how do podcasters get paid?

Some integrate ad-reads, paid sponsorships, merchandise, or product promotions throughout their show.

Other podcasts limit external advertisers and offer memberships or podcast subscriptions. They may also rely on crowdfunding from the podcast listener or join a podcast advertising network.

Podcasters frequently combine these methods to generate multiple revenue streams. Let’s take a closer look at how to make money with podcasting.

1. Sell Custom Merchandise

Sell Custom Merchandise

Selling podcast merchandise is a tried-and-true step for a successful podcast with an engaged fanbase. Your podcast audience doesn’t have to be large but should be loyal before you can rely on this method as a consistent revenue stream.

The goal is profit.

Not everyone buys merchandise. The average purchase rate could be around 2% of listeners – that’s 20 out of every 1,000. Therefore, you may need to pair this with other monetization strategies to increase overall profits. 

Once you have demand, create products with sales margins above the production price. This way, you should have a reliable strategy on how to make money podcasting.

Create merchandise without risk.

Make money podcasting and prevent potential losses using a print-on-demand (POD) service. On-demand podcast merch can be an excellent income stream with minimal risks.

POD requires no initial investment costs and zero inventory management. Your customer orders an item, and the custom product is made for that buyer – no inventory, no wasted production.

Why choose Printify POD?

Printify’s POD service has an extensive catalog of over 900 high-quality products. We offer free design tools for a quick logo or artwork drag-and-drop – no design or editing software is needed.

We also have easy eCommerce platform integrations, including Shopify, TikTok, Etsy, and WooCommerce.

Set up a free account with Printify and receive 24/7 support, automatic shipping and handling, and top-quality print results. Create branded merchandise and start monetizing quickly and easily.

2. Affiliate Marketing

A merchant looking at his affiliate marketing statistics.

Another way to make money with a podcast is through affiliate marketing. 

By accepting an affiliate offer to sell ads, you become the company’s voice by placing recorded ad reads into your new episodes. Most successful podcasters earn money with skillful engagement, so integrate these ads in a way that relates to your audience.

How do podcasters make money with this? By joining an affiliate marketing program, you receive a unique affiliate link that tracks how many listeners interact with the ad.

Once a listener enters the unique URL, you receive a commission. Alternatively, the payment can rely on affiliate product purchases – or be set at a fixed rate.

Check out the Printify Affiliate Program, where you can sign up to advertise a custom affiliate link. Promo codes are added upon request, giving your listeners a better deal. 

How much do podcasters make via this Affiliate Program? The ad revenue payment works on a 5% commission for a 12-month period. On average, an active affiliate earns $1,000 per month with Printify.

Make It Happen Today!

3. Offer Memberships

Once you start a podcast, offer memberships to listeners where they can access exclusive content related to their interests. 

Membership plans can include early insights, bonus episodes, or interactive activities. 

Utilize pledge tiers, which can range from $2 to $100 as one-time or recurring donations.

Check out these membership hosting platforms:

  • Patreon is one of the most popular and widely spread podcast hosts. It offers a well-designed membership hub for payment gateways and membership tiers. Patreon also has a feed where you can keep your dedicated fans updated on your production process.

The platform fee is determined based on the payment amount, not including sales tax. The percentage of the platform fee varies depending on the plan you have with Patreon. It will not charge you without active membership pledges, and you can increase your perks by subscribing to a higher membership plan.

  • Memberful is a platform that caters to podcasters and offers extensive integrations to your RSS feed. Their platform doubles as a management system with analytics, custom membership plans, and secure payment gateways for one-time or recurring payments.

Memberful has a free subscription option but asks for a 4.9%-10% transaction processing fee. Choose a pro or premium plan for perks like discount codes, custom branding, lowered costs, and tracking.

Offer memberships on a self-hosting platform.

Wondering how to get paid for podcast hosting on your own?

With pre-built website templates, you can self-host with little to no experience if you’re willing to put a bit of time and effort into back-end designing.

Use a content management system (CMS) to develop your own membership platform and revenue stream.

WordPress CMS is a standout option that powers almost 45.8% of all websites. Buy a catchy domain name, get website hosting, and create an account to start designing a website from a blank template.

WordPress has extensive open-source plugins. Use these to add design templates, analytics trackers, page integrations, payment gateways, and content feeds throughout your website.

Best of all, you can add your podcast episodes, updates, and membership plan in one place. This way, you can use your self-hosted platform as a homepage for your business. You can even add your own merch and designs with the integrated WooCommerce WordPress plugin.

Alternatively, hire a freelance website designer to do it all for you – find them using platforms like Fiverr or Upwork.

4. Sell Services or Digital Products

Sell Services or Digital Products

This option is great for experimental, extensive, and detailed projects you can use to supplement your podcast.

So, when you start a podcast, consider providing the following:

Online courses.

Podcast creation is just the beginning. Come up with an online course, host workshops, and create guides or how-tos that offer listeners valuable insights. They’re also great for audience building. 

Promote your courses during a podcast episode, aiming to dive deeper into favorite topics via pre-recorded content or live events. The best platforms for online courses are Udemy, Skillshare, Coursera, and Thinkific.


Try public speaking, offer your skills in editing, freelance writing, researching a topic, or providing expert podcasting advice. You can even guest host or offer cameos in different media to diversify your fanbase and share the audience of other podcasters.


To make money with podcast products, create items like themed books, YouTube videos, or pieces of music. Any digital asset related to your podcast will attract eager listeners who can’t wait for a new release.

Promote your products, services, or courses throughout your podcast feed, descriptions, newsletters, show notes, and on-air promotion.

5. Receive Donations and Tips

Relying on tips and donations is excellent for how to get paid for podcast work. However, you must sell your authenticity and gratitude to receive altruistic offers.

Do this by promising an increase in the quality of your work and maintaining exclusively free content. Limit on-air ads, increase your audio budget, and deliver value to the community.

In 2023, a survey found that 13% of podcast listeners donated or paid to access a podcast.

Make money with podcast tips using websites with donation options and well-integrated checkout pages like PayPal and Venmo.

Ensure the donation process is easy for listeners. Provide direct links to your online wallet and integrate donation buttons in email lists, newsletters, media posts, and descriptions.

Make It Happen Today!

6. Sponsorships

Where affiliate marketing follows a cost-per-action model, sponsorships pay based on cost per mille (CPM).

Podcast sponsors pay a certain amount depending on episode viewership in sets of 1,000. 

When you’re just starting, your relative CPM could bring a podcast revenue of $20 per 1,000 views. So once you jump to 2,000, your revenue doubles to $40.

Let’s cover ways to find sponsors.

Look for potential partners using keywords.

Find other businesses or services that align with your podcast’s theme or topics by using relevant keywords in search engines. 

Check out the ads, blogs, and articles in the results, and look into the high-ranking businesses or those in charge of the marketing content. 

Reach out to them – ask if they offer business-to-business marketing opportunities, including sponsorship deals.

Research your competitors.

Ad-free episodes are ideal for listeners, but podcasters have to eat. 

Listen to popular podcasts and see which sponsors they’re using. It could be Hello Fresh, Great Courses Plus, or Casper Mattress, among other common podcast ads.

Existing podcast sponsors could be seeking more partnerships and might want to reach other niche audiences.

Look for podcast marketplaces.

While learning how to start a podcast and make money, make sure that you build a strong network. 

Podcast marketplaces, such as Podcorn, can give your work more visibility while connecting you with podcast sponsorship opportunities. 

Before sending or receiving offers, prepare a summary of your content. Pick audio excerpts and a trailer – even a video version, potential advertising ideas, and a closer look at your analytics, target niche, and the popularity of your content.

7. Podcast Advertising Networks

Five people recording a podcast episode.

Podcast advertising networks are ad agencies that act as membership platforms that connect advertisers with podcasters in one convenient place. The business model analyzes similar brand identities and shared market audiences to create optimized ad campaigns that fit both parties.

These networks could ease your workload by offering custom advertising strategies and consulting services, potentially making you more money.

Check out these exclusive platforms that have plenty of advertising potential:

  • SXM Media is an advertising juggernaut with plenty of celebrity endorsements. It hosts popular podcasts such as The Mel Robbins Podcast and POD Save America. It’s well-known in the podcasting scene and provides its own exclusive host-read ads.
  • Megaphone is a Spotify subsidiary that keeps things fresh with dynamic ad integrations and analytic insights. The platform hosts such shows as The Rewatchables and Today Explained, among other entertainment-focused podcasts.
  • Authentic prides itself on having more brands in podcasting than any other agency. It has more than a decade of experience in top-quality premium content. The platform hosts the now-famous Girls Gotta Eat and The Daily.

8. Monetize With Podcast Platforms

How Do Podcasts Make Money? We’ll Cover 8 Effective Methods 1

Podcast monetization using a platform like Luminary is an oh-so-bright idea. As a subscription-based platform, it is all about exclusive content and impressive production. They offer a sweet upfront payment plus a cut of the platform’s revenue.

On Luminary, creators earn from ads and a subscription service with exclusive, ad-free shows. It gives podcasters stable income from subscriptions and helps them create content without relying on ads alone.

There’s also Spotify – with its growing focus on podcasting, there are many ways to earn via sponsorships, ads, and a revenue-share model.

Spotify allows creators to charge for podcasts, paying them all earnings minus transaction fees. Once you get good reviews, consider adding a donation or membership option. How much can you make from a podcast using Spotify? Generally, you can earn $20 for every 1,000 episode downloads. Consider creating podcast merch or getting sponsorships to boost your income even further.

Also, check out Apple Podcasts – with a massive audience and various monetization routes, sponsorships, and ads, it can turn your podcast into a lucrative endeavor.  

If you pay an annual fee, you get 70% of the subscription price, minus taxes, for each billing cycle. After a subscriber has paid for a year, your earnings increase to 85% of the subscription price, minus taxes. Any other podcast income, like ads, remains entirely yours.

When to Start Monetizing Your Podcast

It’s always a good time to earn a few dollars, and there’s no specific milestone that shows when you should implement podcast monetization methods. 

However, we’ve prepared a quick cheat sheet of monetization tools as a planning guideline:

When you start a podcast, it’s unlikely you’ll make money podcasting after your first episode. Try uploading the first couple of episodes in larger batches before gauging your potential audience, then stick to a schedule.

Make Money as a Podcast Host: Summary

With podcasting on the rise, you have the potential to explore a wide range of monetization techniques that match the most successful podcasts, audience preferences, and your personal financial goals.

Advance your podcasting journey with custom merch and premium content, offer a service or product, receive donations, or join an advertising network. Start getting paid for your next audio masterpiece and join the ranks of podcast stardom.

Start Making Money With POD Merchandise

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  1. Kishon Bennett
    December 5

    Thank you this was a big help.

  2. Dinamicostudio
    August 28

    I really appreciate your blog post about how to make money with podcasts. I’ve been thinking about starting a podcast and this is a great piece of information for me to have. I also loved reading about how to get sponsors for your podcast. I think that this is a really important step to take if you want to be successful in this industry!

    1. Martha Simmons
      August 29

      Hi there,
      Thank you for your feedback! We are happy to hear that you enjoyed reading this article and found it helpful. Stay tuned for more interesting and valuable articles coming soon.


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