Monetizing Your Podcast: How to Find Podcast Sponsorship

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Photo: George Milton

Over a hundred million people count themselves as podcast listeners in the USA alone.

That’s a huge potential audience for an equally huge range of topics. Whether you’re creating a podcast about cars, video games, or dishing out the latest celebrity gossip, there are literal millions of people out there ready and waiting to hear your content.

Even better? An audience that size is catnip to advertisers, meaning you could secure podcast sponsorship and turn your hard work into a reliable stream of podcast income. Plenty of the biggest podcasters out there already make a living solely from sponsorship deals, so why couldn’t you?

It’s a matter of having to increase brand awareness. That being said, here’s our handy guide to securing podcast sponsorship.

Joining a Podcast Network

Lots of podcasting companies recommend joining a network, and for good reason.

Podcast networks are exactly what they sound like: groups of podcasts that band together under a single ‘podcast label’ to help boost each other’s visibility. Networks like Maximum Fun — where you can find very successful podcasters like the McElroy Brothers — or Recorded History — which deals in historical documentary podcasts — exist exactly for this purpose.

The advantage of this method of securing podcast sponsorship is that securing advertising is left to the network’s organizers. That takes a lot off weight off your back and lets you focus on making your podcast. What’s more, if any one of the podcasts in the network hits it really big, you’ll benefit as their legions of fans spread out to check out other podcasts on the network.

Of course, there’s a downside too. You probably won’t get much of a say in the advertising that gets put into your podcast, and you’ll have to split your earnings with the network. Likewise, if it’s your podcast that strikes gold and finds itself with thousands of listeners, there’s not much benefit in staying with the network.

Reach Out to Brands Yourself

On the flip side, you can always just go it alone!

In this scenario, you’d be responsible for contacting brands and asking if they’d like to place advertising. This has advantages. First of all, you have total control over what brands and products get featured on your podcast. Even better, the podcast income is yours to keep, and you can decide how to invest it.

On the downside, it’s more hard work on top of producing your podcast. Plus, if your podcast is new and small, you might end up rebuffed by the companies you reach out to.

Podcast Sponsorship: A Trick Needle to Thread

Obtaining podcast sponsorship depends on who you are and what you’re doing. Already got tens of thousands of listeners? Better start emailing brands yourself. Only have a couple of episodes under your belt? See if there are any networks out there looking to expand your roster.

The key thing, regardless of who you are, is not to give up!

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