What Podcasting Pays Now
June 16, 2019 11:14 AM   Subscribe

WNYC did a podcaster survey as part of their Werk It campaign and festival. "We received 612 responses in total from a self-selecting group of anonymous US-based participants who reported earnings in US dollars. These are a few of the headlines that emerged."
posted by hippybear (17 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm guessing most of these people are employed making podcasts for media organizations, be they public radio stations or for-profit companies.

I'm sure if they included a larger proportion of independent podcasters, the average income from podcasting would be a _lot_ lower.
posted by SansPoint at 11:23 AM on June 16 [10 favorites]


"self-selecting group" with a relatively small sample size doesn't mean this is representative across the board. But it does mean something worth looking at, I think.
posted by hippybear at 11:32 AM on June 16 [2 favorites]


The recurrence of significant gender gaps in pay seems like the biggest takeaway (and more the focus of Werk It's survey here than capturing the long tail of podcast revenue outside of at least semi-professional commercial audio production), and it's frustrating how unsurprising that is to see even in a fairly new and evolving professional sector.
posted by cortex at 11:47 AM on June 16 [6 favorites]


Also it’s kinda sad how little of the money seems to go to the hosts. Is it like that in every sector of the entertainment industry, where even the stars/celebrities make less money than the admin and tech staff?
posted by panama joe at 1:06 PM on June 16


Is it like that in every sector of the entertainment industry, where even the stars/celebrities make less money than the admin and tech staff?

FUCK no
posted by nevercalm at 1:51 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


The podcast I listen to most grosses $16,500 in ad sales per week, with an audience of 75,000.

Thats’s a good living...

YouTube payouts are about 1% of that...
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 1:51 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


Which podcast is that?
posted by andreaazure at 3:04 PM on June 16


Are "Sound/Technical Production roles" union?
posted by latkes at 6:33 PM on June 16




With ATP, I’m pretty sure they do discounts for long-term sponsors (Marco tweeted about this, I think). And they’ve definitely done discounts to fill spots on short notice. Plus, they do have 3 hosts plus the ad salesperson who deals with the sponsors.

Still great money but it’s not as simple as $16.5k every week.
posted by paulcole at 7:55 PM on June 16


i think the people making the most overall from podcasting have to be chapo trap house, right? is anyone making $130k a month in ad sales? they have to split it six ways i guess. john gruber charges $5000 per ad, does 3-4 ads per show, and puts out 3 shows a month on average, with no cohosts, so that's like $45,000-60,000 a month before discounts (he does have an editor and obviously an ad sales rep who takes a cut). i wonder which podcaster has the highest take home pay in the world.
posted by JimBennett at 7:58 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


I would guess Adam Carolla would be the podcaster with the highest pay. There are more popular podcasts, but he does it daily, and back when I listened, had ads from Fortune 500 companies.
posted by riruro at 8:15 PM on June 16


Also it’s kinda sad how little of the money seems to go to the hosts. Is it like that in every sector of the entertainment industry, where even the stars/celebrities make less money than the admin and tech staff?

Hosts can try to turn their fame into other revenue streams like book deals or speaking events and it's a glamour position that's fun so there's always people looking to get into it, which pushes rates down. Production staff generally get their hourly rate and that's it and it's not something that is terribly glamorous (and scrubbing back and forth on a cut making sure it's really well timed may be satisfying to complete but isn't really fun), but quality production does make a big difference so it tends to pay well.
posted by Candleman at 9:20 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


There's a major issue in radio and audio (and across the arts and media industries) in terms of unpaid work and internships.

Even if you're well-qualified, there are still a lot more people with radio skills and qualifications than there are jobs in radio. The universities are churning them out and the radio industry is consolidating and contracting. Companies exploit that by bringing in interns and paying them either nothing, or a paltry few pounds/dollars a day for lunch. Without having done an unpaid internship, your chances of a job in the field are remote.

This, of course, has a huge effect on the mix of people you see working in the industry. It's limited to those people who have funds (usually parental) to allow them to work in an expensive city for six months without pay. This is often people whose families already live in those pricey areas (in this country, usually London). It's not great for getting under-represented groups like BAME people or those from working-class backgrounds into the media, which means you end up with the same upper-middle-class voices twittering away all day on the air and behind the scenes.

The gender gap in audio is significant, but in my view not quite as significant as the opportunity gap caused by the internship issue. It's bad enough in most industries, but particularly significant in media because if the media dominates the public discourse, and the media is dominated by a narrow section of society, the concerns of that section of society are amplified out of proportion.
posted by winterhill at 2:08 AM on June 17 [3 favorites]


My podcast made between $100-150 per month. Clearly they did not ask anyone like me.
posted by Automocar at 6:30 AM on June 17 [5 favorites]


How do you GET one of those administrative support jobs in podcasting?

Asking for a friend who hates this job I'm at so much I cannot begin to tell you
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:50 AM on June 17 [5 favorites]


How do you GET one of those administrative support jobs in podcasting?

It seems that it's a "be a self-starter and self-educator who produces a consistent and demonstrated product (in whatever role) and uses that to build up a portfolio" sort of employment situation. At least according to this link.

I'm going to lazily link my google search here because it felt like in the first page were any number of links people interested in this might want to see, and who knows what more is in that search? It's so charmingly awkward with the search wording that might have leached better content to the top.
posted by hippybear at 10:26 PM on June 17


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