Podcast Movement 2022 Recap – Podcast Monetization 101

In August 2022, Podcast Movement returned to Dallas, the city where it all began in 2014!

AdsWizz and Simplecast joined thousands of passionate podcasters and industry professionals worldwide for the industry's biggest conference and gathering for the podcast community.

In their "Podcast Monetization 101 (It's Not Just Ads)" session, Justine Benjamin, Head of Marketing at AdsWizz, and Caitlin Van Horn, Head of Marketing at Simplecast, guided the audience through various ways podcasters monetize podcasts.

Key Takeaways

Monetization is not a one size fits all approach. It's about understanding your goals for creating a podcast and finding a monetization approach that supports those objectives. While monetization doesn't have to be the end goal, if creators plan to go this route, it is best to have around 10K downloads to monetize (with some notable niche content exceptions). There are many ways for creators to monetize, including advertising sponsorships, subscriptions/memberships, and ancillary experiences such as events, games, and books.

Subscriptions and Revenue

People who crowd-fund and facilitate subscriptions build thriving communities with niche audiences, and enthusiasts is a great way to cultivate a community and recurring revenue from subscriptions and memberships. While not everyone will make north of $160K on platforms like Patreon, it is within the realm of possibility to cover maintenance and pay oneself a salary.


Costs can add up for large venues but don’t discount the value of small venues (such as a bar with a back room), which allows creators to add more content to the tank and meet with their communities. While there are a lot of upfront costs for merchandising, it isn’t worthwhile until there is the largest audience to cover this expense, and most people don’t want to buy it.


For creators who like products, those products have programs that give them commissions or a sale cut. Podcast listeners are also loyal, and they are more likely to buy that product than any other medium.

Host-Read or Produced

There are two common approaches to ad creation. Host-reads usually have a low entry barrier for creators and provide a smooth listening experience with a high trust factor for the podcast audience. Produced ads are typically made by a brand or agency, pre-recorded, and often feature music and high production value.

Baked-In Ads

Can be host-read or produced ads baked into the content. Dynamically inserted ads facilitate technology to determine what kind of ad gets served based on factors such as daypart, context, and geography. These can be re-sold via back catalogs. 

Ad Type

Can be host-read or produced ads baked into the content. Dynamically inserted ads facilitate technology to determine what kind of ad gets served based on factors such as daypart, context, and geography. These can be re-sold via back catalogs.

Ad Targeting

Today's robust targeting capabilities enable brands to reach the right listeners by context, device type, geo, demo, behavioral segments, and more.


Direct Sales

  • Via the Host - a transaction happens between the content owner using an insertion order (IO) with execution parameters.
  • Via the Publisher - can be host-read or dynamic ad insertion (DAI) - there is an ad ops team that is entering IO into the campaign management system, which is tied to an ad server. The campaign management system can include all targeting parameters and can match them to the ad (matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match).


Negotiations are made on digital platforms on private marketplaces, programmatic guarantees, and public or open marketplaces. Advertisers can buy audiences by age, gender, genre, and behavior (income, interest in cars, etc.) Advertisers can also purchase impressions on specific channels/shows. That said, audience buying opens up more potential audiences an advertiser would have missed by just a channel or a show.

Closing Remarks

"As somebody who's worked in ad tech for a very long time, often in mediums that are considered traditional and make a digital transformation, the thought of dynamic ad insertion or programmatic replacing host-read can be scary. But it's not find-and-replace-all. It's a mix-and-match for what works for you. If you get larger, you can leverage technology to automate a process that can be very manual and open up your demand sources to get you more money."

-Justine Benjamin, Head of Marketing at AdsWizz


"Independent podcast creators, your voice is so valuable, and it's the heart and soul of this industry, so you should get paid for your actions! All of the exciting things in enterprise podcasts happened independently first: this is where innovation and real creativity occur. You are the blueprint. We don't want you to get scared or intimidated by monetization."

-Caitlin Van Horn, Head of Marketing at Simplecast


Like to press rewind? Check out our content from Podcast Movement 2021!


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