I want to preface this by saying ‘only around 2,000 downloads per episode’ is not a low number. According to Buzzsprout, if you get more than 700 downloads in the first week, you’re in the top 5% of podcasts. We need to reset our expectations for ‘normal’ podcast numbers.
Anyway, moving on! This is nonetheless an interesting case study in podcast monetisation. The Startup Parent podcast host Sarah Peck sells sponsorships, but the real money maker is the Wise Women’s Council, an intense six-month ‘leadership incubator’ geared towards entrepreneurial mothers.
Simon Owens draws out some really good lessons from her interview, including how to design high-priced products, engaging a small audience, and the limitations she faces as a parent herself with small children.
Talking of good podcasts…the winner of the incredibly competitive Best Limited Series award in 2021’s Publisher Podcast Awards was Floodlines from The Atlantic. Peter spoke to The Atlantic’s Vann Newkirk, staff writer and host of the series. He talked about how the idea for a podcast focused on Hurricane Katrina came about, what their process was for collecting the interviews and going deep into the topic, and the role of music in enhancing the narration.
“We have to work as if print did not exist”: Interview with Editorial Development Director of Bonnier News
Bonnier News, the largest media house in Sweden, decided in 2015-2016 to make reader revenue its primary source of income by building digital loyalty, developing complex digital paywall solutions, and increasing investments in digital quality. The Fix’s Teona Sekhniashvili catches up with them to find out how it’s going in a nation which has some of the highest willingness to pay for online content.
It’s sometimes tricky to pick through all the hype around BuzzFeed’s SPAC and work out what’s actually going on. This is an excellent summary which puts in context the optimism of their investor pitch, why they’ve come in so low, and why it’s still a blessing they went public despite disappointing quarterly results. Jacob also outlines the tough reality of the news business for a newer player like BuzzFeed.
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