fbpx

Top 4 ways to monetize a podcast

In the past year, we’ve seen a considerable increase in terms of podcast consumption. As we speak, there are 62 million Americans listening to audio content each week. Around the world, there are 800,000 active podcasts with over 54 million episodes available. Due to a low cost of entry, a record of 192,000 new shows were launched in 2019.

This considerable increase in audio consumption is mainly due to innovative gadgets such as Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s AirPods. As more people are attracted by this relatively new trend, content creators keep on finding effective ways to monetize podcasts. Even if there are many was for that, we couldn’t find a dedicated platform capable of accepting several income sources and methods.

In this article, the focus will shift towards common and efficient ways in which content creators can begin to monetize their own podcasts.

1. Podcast Sponsorships

This seems to be the most common way to monetize podcasts. Popular shows can generate thousands of dollars per month through sponsorships. However, some creators and listeners feel like including sponsorship slots within their shows can get annoying. For this reason, it is important to contract sponsors that can relate with the presented content in your show.

If you start a podcast today, do not expect sponsors to line up at your doorstep tomorrow. Like most things in our lives, it takes time to reach a desired level. First, begin to host free podcasts in a niche you are passionate and knowledgeable about. The key is to be consistent, to build a captive and engaged audience before monetizing content through sponsorships.  So, what are the common standards for Podcast Sponsorships? Based on the CPM (cost per one thousand visitors), content creators can monetize through sponsorship based on the number of downloads (listens). Therefore, sponsors will pay different amounts for Pre-roll, Mid-roll, and Post-roll slots.

Pre-roll – In this stage, the host will talk about the sponsor’s product or service for 15 seconds before jumping into the main content. To give you an idea, a 15-second Pre-roll generates around $18/1000 listeners.

Mid-roll – This one comes with more flexibility and is included around the 40 – 70% mark of the podcast episode. It lasts for 60 seconds and the host talks about a specific product or service, most of the time sharing a personal story where possible, covering some of the features and benefits. Sponsors are willing to pay more for Mid-roll exposure and it tends to generate $25/1000 listeners.

Post-roll – This stage represents the last call to action your listeners will hear. It lasts around 15 to 30 seconds and purchasing behaviors are influenced the most within this stage, because of the final call to action. For 30 seconds of Post-roll exposure, sponsors pay $10/1000 listeners.

2. Ask for donations

Asking for donations might be the simplest way to monetize a podcast. If you are confident that your content is valued by listeners, you are set to succeed in terms of receiving contributions. Of course, it will only come from engaged, loyal and passionate audiences. Monetizing through donations is a good way to avoid giving portions of podcasts to advertisers. The simplest and most common way to receive donations from listeners is by adding a ‘donate’ button to your podcast page. Before asking for donations, make sure that your followers are well informed and aware of where the money goes. To keep inspiring them, you’ll certainly need to invest in equipment and other tools to deliver better and better content. Therefore, create an authentic call to action that makes it clear where you’ll spend money coming from donations and for what purposes.

As a host, you can receive donations by simply adding a PayPal button or by creating a Stripe account and add it to your page. At Streams.live, we have well-established partnerships with both PayPal and Stripe and opening up an account enables you as a host to receive donations within the platform.

3. Paid premium podcast content

Let’s say that you have some audio content that you’ve worked really hard on. This can be a longer podcast that provides high-value content for listeners. This is where you can add another layer of monetization and create paid membership tiers. Of course that reaching this level will take some time before your listeners pitch in to access such content.

Price customization is under the host’s complete control and the available platforms usually take a small percentage from the revenue earned. With Streams.live, you can add this small percentage on the customer’s side, meaning that you as a creator will end up with nothing to pay in exchange. Usually, creators consider lessons, bonus series, exclusive interviews and more to fall under the ‘exclusive content’ umbrella.

4. Sell products during your podcasts

According to a recent study, 65% of US listeners are very likely to further look into a company they find out about during a podcast and 64% of them have actually bought a presented product or service they’ve heard about during an audio show. It seems that audio tends to be a successful medium for sales due to its intimate relationship it creates between brand and listener. Without any images displayed, listeners can only imagine what is presented during a podcast, making them eager to see it for themselves. The one-on-one relationship audio creates is much stronger and effective than a 30 second TV commercial. There are different ways and techniques for selling products within podcasts and these are:

  • Branded Podcasts

With this method, there is no need to pay for external advertising and you can get as creative as it gets with the narrative of your podcast. Starbucks is among those using this method and it presents several stories about ordinary people doing impressive things, to create positive change. Afterwards, the important brand is immediately associated with positive social causes.

  • ‘Supply & Demand’ Podcasts

To fully take advantage of this method, you need to know what your customers like. This way, you can build a podcast around a theme which meets their interests. With ‘supply & demand’ podcasts you can even sell affiliate products which you are not in competition with. It is a great way to form collaborations that create a mutual benefit.

  • Podcast Guests

If you are hosting podcasts, you can have dedicated sessions for guests. You can give them the opportunity to market themselves as a brand and be an authority in a given sector. As a host, you can simply negotiate with your guests and receive a percentage from every sale that takes place during your sessions.

At Streams.live, our mission is to create a platform that enables content creator to easily monetize their passions and hard work. By looking more into the podcast world, we’ve identified a gap in terms of a dedicated platform designed to accommodate several monetization methods. Our goal is to accommodate these needs in a user friendly and intuitive environment.

Loyalty Programs and Local Communities in Hospitality

Nowadays, there are millions of businesses in the world that focus on delivering different products and services for consumers. Keeping aside the variety of industries that businesses are part of, all of them want to retain their loyal customers and make them return in the future. It all started in 1793, when some U.S merchants decided to offer their customers copper tokens to be redeemed with future purchases.

Hospitality establishments, such as well-known hotel chains are expected to have a structured loyalty program in place for their frequent guests. Holiday Inn was the first brand to launch a ‘frequency’ program in February of 1983. This first-generation hotel loyalty scheme was allowing customers to redeem points and receive special flight prices in exchange. In today’s world, hotel-loyalty programs rely on distinctive experiences that can set them apart from competitors.

Today, we’re going to go over the major hotel loyalty programs around the world, and we’ll give more insights on how hospitality establishments can invite local businesses (communities) to be part of such programs by using our solution.

Well-known Hospitality Loyalty programs

With the nine largest hotel-loyalty programs consisting of nearly 350 million members worldwide, it is clear how this trend developed over the years. Hotel and resort chains are doing their best to differentiate themselves and provide loyal guests with unique and tailored experiences. Before jumping into more details, it is important to keep in mind that guests will value a hotel-loyalty program based on 4 factors: 1. The number of hotels that are part of a chain 2. Benefits that are most important for a guest 3. Destination (some chains have more luxurious properties based on location) 4. The type of hotel or resort that a guest is looking for (boutique, budget, ultra-all-inclusive and so on).

1. Marriott Bonvoy

This loyalty program provides guests with the richest benefits in the hotel industry. Members are entitled to earn points by choosing to accommodate at any of the 6800 locations in over 150 countries. In terms of earning points as a member, Marriott offers its guests different ways for that. For instance, famous banking companies such as Chase and American Express allow their customers to transfer rewards on their Marriot Bonvoy account. Besides that, both companies issue branded Marriot credit cards for personal and business use. Clients that opt for branded cards will receive a sign-up bonus and Marriott points are earned and ready to be used in any location right after every purchase. Referring a friend is also a great way to earn points without much effort. However, Marriott Bonvoy members will earn points whenever they spend money at any participating location, regardless of which credit card is used. For every $1 spent, members receive 10 Marriott points in exchange. These points can be redeemed for various products and services, such as: free hotel/resort stays; room upgrades; lower room rates; holiday packages; car rentals; gift cards; donations; special airline prices and more.

2. IHG Rewards Club

Similar with Marriott’s loyalty offering, IHG Rewards is as well a diverse and rewarding program. Flagship hotel chains such as InterContinental, Crown Plaza, Holiday Inn Resorts and many others are part of it. With more than 5,600 participating hotels worldwide, this program is divided into four membership categories: Club, Gold Elite, Platinum Elite and Spire Elite. Depending on how often you stay at participating locations, the likelihood of upgrading your membership increases. If not claimed within 12 months, earned points are set to expire, but the good news is that points can be transferred between two designated member accounts for $5/1,000 points transferred.

Members part of the IHG Rewards program can also earn points by spending money at nearby shops and dine locations/activities. How does it work? Users can simply search for local activities and vendors from their accounts and verify if businesses reward them with points that can be spent within the IHG group. For a helicopter tour that cost $250 in New York, IHG members automatically receive 1,000 points that can be redeemed at any hotel or resort that is part of the chain. Booking tours and other experiences are booked straight from the account, replacing the need of accessing the partner’s website.

3. World of Hyatt

Very similar with those loyalty programs mentioned above, this one stands out by including respected luxury hotel chains, such as Park Hyatt and Andaz (luxury boutique hotels). The feature that stands out the most in this program is targeting the highest tier members. They get a free night award and two suite upgrades just by reaching this status. Compared with other programs, earning points within World of Hyatt tends to be somewhat difficult. With a single transfer partner (Chase) and one cobranded credit card, you can already see the limitations. This limitation is given by their exclusive establishments and therefore by their rigorous earning criteria’s. One nice feature available is the Points + Cash bookings. It allows guests to get discounted room rates and pay with their points part of the total amount.

Oveit as a Loyalty solution for Hospitality and Local Communities

By looking at these well-established loyalty programs, we’ve identified that our solution can be a great fit in a hospitality environment. Keeping aside the valuable insights coming from guest’s behaviour and preferences, we want to introduce decision makers to our idea of Economy as a Service. After talking to professionals from the hospitality industry, we concluded that tourist destinations struggle with fragmented experiences and therefore have a negative impact on the end users (guests). By fragmented experiences, we want to say that local vendors and businesses in tourist destinations don’t have a common accepted currency and purchase behavior can be affected because of that.

With our solution, hotels and resorts are to act as owners of local economies. Instead of just making recommendations for nearby attractions and experiences, our solution enables guests to make purchases in a defined economy with the same payment tool used for completing purchases within hotels and resorts. It addresses the issue of fragmented experiences and it contributes to a fast and secure purchase behavior.

Using Oveit for Local Experiences

Vacation rental or short-term properties have been around for quite some time. These accommodations range from exclusive properties to extra bedrooms in other people’s houses. Some of these include homes, apartments, villas, condos and even tents, tree-houses or caravans. Hosts listing their properties might offer full services and experiences (similar to a hotel or resort), while others don’t even have contact with guests, besides the online booking process.

People that seek to spend their holidays in this kind of properties can find offers through OTAs (online travel agencies). Online booking platforms like Booking.com or TripAdvisor offer a variety of alternatives in terms of accommodation. However, the one platform that caters exclusively to this type of lodging is Airbnb. The home rental platform based in San Francisco was founded in 2008 and it has done a great job in changing the way people find places to stay away from home. In 2007, two of the founders were trying to find a way to cover their rent in San Francisco. Unemployed and broke at that time, they decided to rent out air mattresses in their own apartment to attendees of a conference, since all the hotels were fully booked. They called their service “Air Bed and Breakfast.” 

Like many successful businesses with little to no hope in the beginning, Airbnb is among them. As we speak, the privately held company lists more than three million lodgings in almost 200 countries. To give you an idea of its success, it is valued at $35 billion, which is more than Hilton and Wyndham combined. In late 2016, Airbnb decided to move beyond accommodation with the launch of Airbnb Experiences.

Airbnb Experiences

Airbnb launched Experiences with the purpose of bringing together where you stay (Homes), what you do (Places) and the people you meet (Experiences) in one place. The concept is designed for those travelers that want to benefit from authentic experiences and places, guided by their local hosts.

How does it work?

Instead of finding experiences on third party platforms, Airbnb recruits hosts that can provide more than just bed & breakfast. This way, travelers can simply book their accommodation and daily activities in one place. These activities are led by locals who love where they’re from and what they do, showing great passion. Ranging from cooking classes to music history and culture tours, travelers have plenty of choices available and they can find the perfect one based on other’s previous experiences. For example, in Barcelona, travelers can make paella based on an old family recipe in a private garden. Compared with experiences offered by commercial tour operators, these come with behind-the-scenes access that guests couldn’t typically find on their own.

As expected, travelers spend money on authentic experiences, creating a win-win situation for local hosts and communities. It is a great way to promote and contribute to the success of smaller businesses. The most authentic offerings tend to come from individuals with limited resources and little to no exposure. 

Oveit for Local Hosts and Communities

As we mentioned in previous articles, Oveit can be a great solution for local communities. As experiences tend to be fragmented, our solution enables the host to create their own local economy (currency), inviting local vendors and experience providers to be part of it.

Using Oveit to improve Local Experiences

Even if travelers pay for their trips in advance, local hosts and service providers can use our solution effectively. Our smart NFC enabled wristbands act as digital wallets and enable economy owners (local hosts) to pre-pack experiences for their guests.

Hosts are not always in charge of providing the full experience. Some of them depend on strategic partnerships with local vendors that have a key role in delivering it for travelers. For instance, hosts that are passionate about the brewing industry might offer local pub crawl tours, taking the role of a guide rather than a service provider. With our solution, they can pre-pack various experiences and enable travelers to claim them in partner locations (pubs) with a simple tap of the hand.

On top of that, they can use our solution as a payment tool and create a single currency accepted in their network of partners. Travelers can simply top up their digital wallets (NFC wristbands) online and purchase goods and services in the defined economy.

Besides the pre-purchased experiences, guests will most likely spend money on other activities as well. Our closed-loop payment solution is designed to avoid fragmented experiences and it contributes to a commonly accepted currency. While enjoying outdoor activities, travelers won’t have to worry about their wallets or withdrawing cash. They can activate the ‘Auto top-up’ feature and if the remaining balance falls under a defined amount, the digital wallet (NFC wristband) tops up automatically. Transactions are simply processed by tapping the wristband to a reader. 


We pledge our tech against Coronavirus: 8 ways to fight the disease

More and more people are being reported as infected with the COVID-19 virus which causes the Coronavirus Disease. As many communities all across the world are being challenged by this epidemic we, as citizens of the world need to stay united and ask ourselves: what can we do to help?

This is the exact question we’ve asked ourselves. Can our work fight against this epidemic? Can we use tech against Coronavirus?

The answer is yes, we can. We are already a company dedicated to supporting local communities. Now we pledge our technology and support to any community affected about the Coronavirus outbreak. No strings or costs attached.

Photo credit by CDC on Unsplash

Here’s how we can help:

1. Use cashless and contactless payments to avoid spread of the Coronavirus disease through cash

The most common way for coronaviruses to spread is through person to person transmission. You can check details here . Don’t forget when getting your news – always trust verified sources, especially on health issues.

However, Covid-19 can survive on different types of inanimate objects for up to 9 days, as estimated by a March 2020 study published in the journal of Hospital Infection. This, in turn, allows inanimate surfaces such as money to become sources of infection.

Our contactless technology has been developed for usage in closed loop environments such as events, venues and hospitality resorts. This means places and areas where many, many people congregate.

How can you use this tech against Coronavirus? You can use Oveit Pay to allow cashless and contactless payments in areas that are not yet accustomed to these new means of payments, thus reducing potential dangerous interactions.

Contactless payments tech against coronavirus
Contactless payments tech for everyone

If you want to reduce the exchange of currency in your community, thus reducing infection chances, we are here to help. Do reach out. We are ready to help without any cost.

2. Access control to quarantined areas

Oveit was designed to manage access to very large events or venues. Therefore it is built for speed, reliability and flexibility.

Access control tech against covid-19 virus

How can you use this tech against Coronavirus? Quickly set up an access management system to quarantined communities.

The system can operate either using NFC cards (the same technology used in contactless payment cards) or biometric facial features, if you need a higher level of security and less contact.

While we are not experts in the field we assume that just as with all large gatherings, you will need different access rights and roles. This can be easily set up for let’s say medical professionals, logistics personnel or general public.

3. Use tech to manage patient history and tracking in improvised treatment spaces

Given its mild symptoms, longer incubation and high infectivity rate, Coronavirus infections tend to spread very fast. This leaves public health facilities stretched and new treatment areas have to be added fast. With high stress and lacking sleep medical professionals need technological help to maintain patient data and trace-ability.

Our system is based on an infrastructure of managing visitors access, interactions history and journey. It is also built to run anywhere, in the cloud, with mobile interfaces.

NFC wristbands tech against Coronavirus infections
Medical NFC wristband for patient tracking and history

How can you use this tech against Coronavirus? Deploy the patient tracking and history system anywhere, without complicated hardware and software setup.

All that’s needed is NFC wristbands which can be shipped fast, mobile devices which are probably already available to anyone and an internet connection.

We can also help you connect the collected data to external, more specialized health management systems.

4. Tech against Coronavirus: rationing for goods, services, medical supplies and fuel

We’ve developed a system where any person that joins a specific group (whether it is an event, venue or community) can get access to specific items. We call these things add-ons.

The add-ons can be fixed (let’s say everyone gets a certain quantity of food) or it can be changed according to needs.

Let’s say everyone is entitled to the same amount of goods such as food or water but some specific cases need a bit more medical supplies.

US Gas stamps
US gas stamps for the 1973 oil crisis. They were printed but never used.

In times of crisis or disaster relief, the community used to issue specific tokens, such as the 1973 oil crisis stamps (see right).

How can you use this tech against Coronavirus effects? Access to the rationing can be done as previously mentioned via cards, wristbands or biometric usage. It can also be built into citizen apps where they can track usage, remaining ratios and more.

Historically the issuing of such tokens used to be cumbersome as it entitled certain logistics that were hard to manage, such as printing, shipping, distribution, managing identities and more. Now everything is digital and can be used in an instant.

5. Edge economies for communities that don’t have access to internet

All of the above are fine and all but sometimes crisis bring down core infrastructure such as electricity or internet.

Our technology is used in places that are usually unreliable, have a high technological stress and where deployment has to be done fast and securely and people are sometimes under the influence of unknown substances. Namely: festivals and large venues.

We’ve developed a system where areas that are either not connected to the internet or have unstable internet connections can have a local economy based on local hardware. They will hold a distributed ledger of value, transactions and allow monetary and value exchange until core infrastructure is restored.

We packed this into a hardware-software product we call the Edge Box and it looks like this:

Edge technology for affected communities
The Oveit Box helps communities that are disconnected from the internet and need a local way of managing value transactions. We think they’re especially useful in crisis situations and during festivals.

How can you use this tech to fight against Coronavirus caused outages? Using the Edge Box we can help you set up edge payments in your community that can operate as independent value exchange media for your citizens, local businesses and allow life to continue until life returns to normal.

Why is it called edge? Because it operates at the edge of the cloud.

6. Build a local economy that can operate even if disconnected from the outside world

In times of need communities tend to create economies naturally but they are usually unsustainable because of the usual underground distribution and analogue means of trading.

We think that in such extreme cases the community can still operate like a closed economy where specific actors in the economy can exchange with one another. Basically businesses can be onboarded and citizens can access their goods via virtual payment tokens that can be purchased either with traditional currency or with government issued credits.

Basically this shrinks the overall concepts of the open economy (the one we are all accustomed to) and offers it to a local community.

How can you use this tech against Coronavirus caused economic distress? This will allow the natural flow of goods, money and services that exist in that economy to operate in a quasi-normal way, all while being digitally connected to the financial system (bank, card payments and such)

7. Setup time banks

As Investopedia notes “Time banking is a system of bartering various services for one another using labor-time as a unit of account […]. Labor-time units can be credited to a person’s account in the time bank and redeemed for services from other members of the time bank. Time banking can be considered a form of community currency.”

This idea has been around for quite some time but it hasn’t really gained much traction outside of small communities. The reason? Scalability and safety issues when managing these types of ledgers.

How can you use this tech against Coronavirus caused economic problems? In closed environments such as a quarantined community, this can work as a very good exchange medium. Imagine the bakery providing bread and its value being accounted by the time being spent to manufacture the bread. The currency, time, can be exchanged afterwards into goods from other local sources.

Here’s a brief video describing the concept:

In quarantined communities exposed to Covid-19 work becomes a problem. Large gatherings are stopped and the trading of basic goods can move in the underground economy, cause supply issues and increase criminal activity.

8. Enable crypto payments to ensure economic continuity

This doesn’t necessarily affect the communities infected with Covid-19 but in times of crisis the financial system can be overwhelmed. For example in the case of the Yes Bank bankruptcy in India the cash withdrawals have been blocked.

In troubled financial systems such as Venezuela’s ecosystem, even very large institutions such as the Central bank and largest gas company are contemplating switching to Bitcoin as means of payments. The failure of financial policies has left the country unable to manage financial flow and has lead to civil unrest.

In extreme cases pandemics can bring the economy to its knees. In such cases the social structures are overburdened by existing efforts in disease containment. The disease is treated as an war effort and everything outside of it becomes second. Cryptocurrencies can work as stable coins in times of high economic stress and alleviate stress on governmental structures.

If you think these solutions can work for your community, we are very happy to help and we are always on the call to offer advice, help or our pledged services.

And again – this pledge means using our solution is free for any community affected by the COVID-19 virus and any help requested is confidential and on a need to know basis.

Stay safe!