Creating a healthy media ecosystem from the ground up
The podcast universe’s expansion continues to accelerate, fueled in large part by brands and advertisers seeking to reach a valuable, engaged audience. Wired’s recent headline captures this well: “Podcast Listeners Really Are the Holy Grail Advertisers Hoped They’d Be.”
But the vast majority of podcasts are still too small, too niche — or too busy producing their shows — to attract advertisers seeking to reach that audience.
Despite huge growth in the podcast economy over the past several years, it is still undervalued, underdeveloped, and its gains are unevenly distributed.
With Paid Listens we are changing the equation by guaranteeing payments to podcasters on RadioPublic, whether you have ten listeners or ten thousand.
Here’s how it works: podcasters make ad-free episodes available in their feeds, we place ads on our platform that bookend each episode, and we pay participating podcasters for every listen on the RadioPublic apps for iPhone and Android, at a $20 CPM.
Why are we doing this? Two main reasons.
Creators should be paid for their efforts.
Internet platforms have a mixed record for ensuring that content creators — musicians, photographers, writers, and artists of all kinds — share in the extraordinary value, scale, and revenue that technology makes possible.
With podcasting we have the opportunity to create a healthy ecosystem from the ground up, and we have dedicated RadioPublic to that vision.
Ad revenue is podcasting’s fastest-growing source of revenue, but it’s not the only one. Ultimately our goal is to amplify the variety of creator business models, which include crowdfunding, membership, live events, e-commerce, and more.
We are building a marketplace.
By committing to paying podcasters for listens on RadioPublic, we are also committing ourselves to bringing on brands, advertisers, and sponsors that were previously inaccessible to the majority of podcasters.
Paid Listens is one big step forward on the path to a thriving marketplace where listeners, podcasters, and advertisers connect with each other according to their preferences. Soon we will support listeners who prefer to pay podcasters directly instead of hearing an ad; brands who pay users to opt-in for more info; podcasters who invite their true fans to become paying members.
We are on our way to making it possible that “When you listen, everyone benefits.”