Audio Creator Remuneration: DIY Artists Need x12.8 More Streams and Major Label Artists Need x91 More Streams to Earn the Same As Podcast Creators
Podcasts are currently front of mind in the media landscape. The greatest gap in information knowledge for media professionals is understanding where podcasts fit into a unified media outreach strategy fit for 2019. One key part of the equation is understanding the financial incentives for creators. In 2019 The podcast ecosystem resembles the creative Darwinism of YouTube in 2007 – where the minimal technical barriers to entry unleashed a digital gold rush for newly empowered DIY creators. Like their YouTube peers, the leading podcasters are able to command ad-based revenue disproportionate to their media format peers based upon their ability to act as gate-keepers to highly engaged audiences. MIDiA Research has undertaken the first evaluation of how podcast content creators fare financially compared to their audio peers in the music industry – a comparison particularly timely in light of the recent acqusitions by music streaming service Spotify of 3 leading podcast creator and distribution companies.
To earn $6500 (£5000) per month as a podcast creator you need 20,000 listens per weekly episode (approximately 80,000 listens over a month)*. An artist releasing tracks independently would need 12.8 x more streams, 1.02 million in total, to earn $6,500.
An artist releasing tracks with an independent label would need 34.1 x more streams (2.73 million in total) than a podcast creator to earn $6500.
An artist releasing tracks with a major label would need 91 x more streams (7.28 million in total) than a podcast creator to earn $6500.
These streams would need to happen within a month to earn the equivalent amount in the same time frame. These amounts are estimated as the remaining pay for artists once all rights, distributors, PROs and labels have taken their share. Hence, artists releasing independently predictably fare better.
We are living in the age of the creator. No longer is the artist community a separated strand within societies and communities. From photography, videography, journalism and blogging, music, podcasting and building businesses – people are more empowered than ever, and are using that power, to build and create for themselves. But what money is actually being made from which cultural output? These figures shed light on the wildy differing monetization returns for creators specialising audio content output in 2019.
*note: figures based on a 100% Sell Through Rate (STR) of available ad inventory within each podcast episode calculated on the basis of four disctinct episodes per month gaining 20,000 listens each.