In the world of podcasting, it’s tough to make money. In fact, it’s tough even to build the audience necessary to monetize a podcast. Podcasts are downloaded a median of just 124 times total, and the top one percent of podcasts receive 99 percent of all downloads, according to 2021 research from the podcasting company Libsyn. Thus, if your goal is to grow your podcasts into reliable revenue generators, you shouldn’t be doing what most of the podcasting community is doing. You should be ahead of the curve and pursue advanced strategies for podcasting monetization.
The average podcaster already is familiar with common strategies for making money, including paid advertising, sponsorships, and host-read mentions and endorsements of specific products and services. Most podcasters, however, haven’t yet embraced more advanced, technology-driven monetization opportunities. In many cases, they aren’t even aware of the existence of these next-generation technology solutions for dramatically growing revenue streams. Let’s explore four key ways to effectively use technology to pull ahead of the competition and optimize your podcast’s monetization potential:
1. Insert ads dynamically
With traditional podcast production, ads are statically inserted into each episode at the same time it is produced. That means the ads cannot be customized for different audiences, nor do advertisers get the option to pay to reach just a subset of the audience. By contrast, dynamic ad insertion gives podcasters the flexibility to decide at any time which ads get inserted where. Podcasters retain this control at essentially any point in the episode: Ads can be dynamically inserted pre-, mid, and post-roll. Furthermore, even when a listener downloads an old podcast episode, the podcaster has full control to schedule which ads the listener hears; this ensures that listeners don’t hear outdated ads, and also that the podcaster doesn’t need to edit the original episode.
2. Target ads using AI algorithms
For podcasters that embrace dynamic ad insertion, the old-school way of deciding how to deliver different ads to different audiences is to do so manually. Specifically, podcasters can study the demographics of listeners and tailor advertising campaigns to different types of listeners. But today, there’s an even more powerful feature available to optimally target ads: AI. Modern AI software is capable of automatically and intelligently customizing ads for specific types of users. This software takes care of classifying podcasts, identifying the best ad for each episode, studying listener personalization metadata (i.e., demographic information, location information, and listening history), and ultimately deciding where in the podcast each ad should be inserted.
3. Using voice cloning to customize host-read ads
Often more effective than inserting ads into podcasts is host-read endorsements and mentions. These ads are inextricably integrated into the podcast itself, making them particularly valuable and coveted by advertisers. Unfortunately, host-read ads also are—at least traditionally—immutable: Once the host reads them into the podcast, they are permanently attached to the podcast. But voice-cloning technology is flipping this paradigm on its head. Through an AI solution known as Natural Language Processing (NLP)-based voice cloning techniques, the software can learn how to mimic the voice of the host and then replace host-read ads in a podcast with an updated or customized version. NLP-based techniques can recognize speech patterns, tone, and even background sounds to authentically re-create the speaker’s voice.
4. Design marketing campaigns around analytics
In the podcast marketing world, the development of marketing campaigns has traditionally been all about playing the long game: Marketers traditionally have looked at download rates, listener ratings, and third-party analyses, such as surveys and focus groups. While this information can be and is used to design marketing campaigns, this information is inherently limited, providing indirect insights into who is listening and what these listeners are likely to be moved by and responsive to. The key to designing more effective marketing campaigns is to turn to more granular, specific analytics. Modern, cloud-based podcasting management dashboards can provide nuanced insights about ad impressions, coupon codes, referrals, social media leads, subscribers, performance over time, and even the social clout of hosts and guests. With these analytics, marketers can design much more nuanced, resonant marketing campaigns that are more specifically customized and segmented by demographics, location, podcast genre, and similar criteria.
To maximize your chances of making money in the world of podcasting, it’s critical to become an early adopter of next-generation technology-based monetization solutions. You want to be able to insert all of your ads dynamically, use AI-powered algorithms to more effectively target ads, customize host-read ads with voice cloning technology, and develop sophisticated marketing campaigns using cloud-based analytics platforms.
Infosys and Simplus are proud to offer the Infosys Media Platform to holistically, intelligently, and automatically optimize podcasting monetization opportunities. To learn more about how this podcasting management platform uses powerful AI and granular analytics to optimally target and segment audiences, please reach out to us today. We’ll be glad to put your podcasts on the road to maximum monetization potential.