If you’re considering sponsorships for your podcast, you need to read this first.
Podcasts aren’t just an effective form of content marketing. They can also be a solid revenue stream for your business. By partnering with other companies who want to promote their products or services on your podcast, you can open up new opportunities for revenue and also forge new connections with other companies.
First, look at your numbers. Most companies won’t bother partnering with a podcast that has under 1,000 weekly listens. Your podcast host should be able to provide that data to you. When it comes to pricing for sponsorships, look at how many average listens you have after 1 week. That’s the number you’ll share when pitching your podcast.
Pricing for podcast sponsorships is very standard across the industry. For a short pre-roll before your episode, the typical rate is $18 per thousand listens. For a 90-second mid-roll ad in the middle of your episode, the typical rate is $25 per thousand listens. If you want to include both a pre-roll and mid-roll, that means you’re charging $43 per thousand listeners per episode purchased. So, if you have 5,000 listeners on average after 1 week, you’re charging $215/episode.
But it’s important to think of the types of companies you’re partnering with. You want companies that are (a) in line with your values and (b) something of actual interest to your listeners. Your followers and podcast listeners will quickly be able to sniff out if they’re just being “sold to”—and they won’t like it. Try and connect with products or services you actually believe your listeners will enjoy that aren’t in direct competition with you. If you’re a yoga studio podcasting on the benefits of yoga, could you reach out to an athletic clothing store? Or, if you’re an accountant podcasting on personal finance, what about a company that makes a budgeting app? The sky is the limit when it comes to networking and sponsorship opportunities, but you don’t want to pitch to a company that has absolutely nothing to do with your brand. Also, try to stick to a maximum of 2–3 sponsors per episode—you don’t want your commercial break to be 10 minutes long.
You don’t need to offer sponsorships for your podcast. But doing so can open up a world of connection as well as some additional cash flow. If you want to give it a try, sell only one episode at a time instead of packages—you can see if it feels natural or if it doesn’t seem like a great fit.