Is there money in podcasting? The answer, like with many things in life, is: it depends.
Once you have an audience, there are a ton of ways to actually monetize your podcast; like sponsorships, affiliate marketing, and spin-off products. But capturing a targeted and significant demographic takes unique, engaging, and consistent content. It’s a lot of work, but finding the right formula can prove successful.
Here are the podcasts that have done just that, according to Forbes, who have named the top 5 highest earning podcasts in 2020 so far.
#1 – The Joe Rogan Podcast
Most regular podcast fans won’t be surprised to see Joe Rogan’s name on the top of this list. Over 9 million people regularly listen to The Joe Rogan Podcast, and he’s claimed that over 190 million people download his content per month. His podcast delves into the human experience in an honest and down-to-earth way with the help of celebrity guests who walk through some defining moments in their lives, including Matthew McConaughey, Elon Musk, and Mike Tyson.
Joe Rogan has the biggest podcast following there is. Just this year, he signed an exclusivity deal with Spotify worth 100 million, and most sources say he makes about $75,000 per episode, over $800,000 per month.
#2 – Chapo Trap House
With so, so, so much political unrest in the US this year, it’s no wonder a political podcast was able to make it to Forbes’ #2 spot on this list. That podcast is called Chapo Trap House, hosted by Will Menaker, Matt Christman, Felix Biederman, Amber A’Lee Frost, and Virgil Texas.
The podcast takes current political topics and combines them with humour. It’s a hit for people who want to stay current and discuss important issues but can’t stand the dryness of political news.
Over 35,000 people listen to Chapo Trap House, and the group makes over $150,000 per month.
#3 – Smart Passive Income
Pat Flynn’s podcast checks the “how to get rich” box off this list. He delves into the ways that listeners can make passive income (money while you sleep), and live a comfortable and stress-free life doing it.
Pat brings on a host of people to interview about their ways to make passive income, most of whom have their own courses, formulas, and products they are trying to sell. These people pay for Pat to promote their products to his market of entrepreneurs.
Pat’s two podcasts make a whopping $100,000 per month.
#4 – Last Podcast on The Left
Hosts Ben Kissel, Henry Zebrowski, and Markus Parks have taken the ‘scary stories by the campfire’ model and turned into into a successful podcast. The show features horror stories- both true and fable -and the discussions that follow them. The stories aren’t always about ghosts and haunted houses, they discuss aliens, odd rituals, and other occult topics.
The show has over 510 episodes, and their fan base is almost 12,000 regular listeners. With their sponsorships, live shows, and merch, the group earns about $55,000 per month.
#5 – Tiny Meat Gang
A comedy-focused podcast about current trends, major news stories, and the male experience, Tiny Meat Gang is a podcast run by two social media (vine and youtube) comedians Cody Ko and Noel Miller. The podcast takes current stories and discusses them with a comedic spin. The duo also gets into the stuff of men- their own funny stories, opinions, and gossip as it relates to being ‘manly’. They’ve put out over 163 episodes, and have been ranked #1 on Apple and Spotify podcast charts more than once. They make an average of $51,000 per month for their podcasting.