2022 Podcast Sponsorship Trends: Getting Listener Support

podcast sponsorship trends- revenue growth

Taiwan’s podcast industry grew rapidly in the past 2 years. Our data showed a 380% increase in podcast downloads last 2021. Podcast sponsorship, monetizing content, and adding value to listeners soon became the hottest topic for most podcast creators.

Our 2020 survey shows that 60% of listeners are willing to subscribe and pay to support their favorite podcasts. As the podcast market continues to expand, Firstory launched our built-in subscription system in 2021. From these trends, we know that listener-driven podcast sponsorships can be a viable monetization solution for many podcast creators.

Small and Medium Sized Creators Earn USD $350/ month from Listener Podcast Subscriptions

From the backend data of a diverse batch of content, we observed that listeners’ willingness to support creators increased year after year. The amount of listeners in 2021 increased by 263% from 2020. On the other hand, the amount of listener sponsorships grew by 714% from the previous year. Among them, we found that several creators manage to earn over USD $360/month from subscription.

As of the year 2021, the total subscription income of 1,000 podcasts on Firstory’s subscription system have exceeded USD $200,000. About 20% of these podcasts have earned over USD $350 in monthly revenue, with 20% of these podcasts earning more than USD $350. On the other hand, about 2% earned more than USD $3,500/month!

When we look into the top 2%, we found that they produce very diverse types of content. No one category stood out in particular. From this, we can infer that your podcast theme and category is NOT the key to subscription support from listeners. On the contrary, it has everything to do with the podcaster’s ability to charm and gather audiences.

podcast sponsorship trends- monthly revenue distribution

Most of the top-earning podcasts we interviewed are not “big podcasts” on the charts. They aren’t KOLs and celebrities either. Rather, they are podcast creators who have emerged from the wave of podcast outbreak in the country. 

These podcasters rely on content quality and value to attract fans and achieve positive results. One example would be Stock Sea Surfer, whose podcast emerge out of the blue. He started his podcast in June 2021; and by March 2022, he already has more than 200 paying subscribers and earning over USD $15,000 every month.

Taiwan’s podcasting industry is about to enter its 3rd year after the podcast outbreak. Creators are becoming more and more familiar with the production process, and businesses are moving towards using podcasts to create opportunities as well.

Firstory provides podcast creators with a service platform and helps podcasters with production, hosting, distribution, up until monetization. We also provide a number of features to assist podcasters of different stages in monetization. For example, Firstory will be expanding the current Dynamic Ad Insertion functionality, subscription and sponsorship functions, interactive podcast community, etc. by the latter half of 2022.

From USD $0 to $200,000 in just 6 months: Industry Success Factors

1. Producing Quality Content & Useful Information

As we have discussed above, the types of category and theme are not drivers of listener subscription. Instead, the richness of content is the key driver of growing your podcast audience. 

Taking the Stock Sea Surfer as an example, his podcast shares information on his views, opinions, analysis, and experiences on the Taiwan stock market. Accuracy and timeliness of these types of information is extremely critical for stock investors; and the Stock Sea Surfer delivers.

2. Building a Solid Fan Base before Opening up a Podcast Subscription

Through audience interaction and feedbacks, podcast creators will be able to gather information on various audience groups. Top podcasters have also leveraged social media to provide exclusive content, channels to strengthen audience connection, and post limited-time content.

3. Engage with Your Audience Through Communities

To continue #2, it is also important for podcast creators to engage with audiences. Many podcasters hesitate in opening up a podcast subscription, worried that they might end up spending more time creating exclusive content. 

However, exclusive content is NOT the only thing that can attract audience support. Many times, the motivation comes from being able to communicate, interact, and connect better with you, their favorite podcaster. For example, the fans of Sex & Letters podcast willingly subscribe to her show, in order to have deeper discussion on the topics of sex with podcast host Azi. 

4. Setting Prices that Match your Target Audience

Choose a price that your listeners will be willing to pay for; and use this to match up with what you can provide for subscribing listeners. 

For example, Stock Sea Surfer charges abut USD $36 every month, per subscriber, which is a pretty big amount in Taiwan for regular workers. On the other hand USD $36 is nothing to traders who earn much greater profit and loss from trading. This is especially true for the timely, accurate, and quality information.

Grow your podcast with Firstory

Ready to ride the waves of podcasting with Firstory? We are the podcasting partner that has every podcast creator’s best interests in mind. We’re here to help you turn your passion into a podcast business.