In the video, Mike Kadin, CEO and founder of RedCircle, highlights how our podcast hosting platform helps podcasters of all sizes and shapes monetize their content. This video is a repost from Sounds Profitable. It was first published on October 14, 2021. *We have made some updates to the user interface in the ad platform since the publication of this video. Below you will find an example of the changes to the UI*
About the podcast: Manning and Lackey curate weekly discussions exploring various topics and issues centered around self-care, self-love, health, wellness, and more for the community among women of color.
Challenges: The hosts, Manning and Lackey, spent a lot of time managing admin work like uploading episodes and inserting ads into the show. It was challenging for them to connect with brands to monetize their inventory.
Impacts: RedCircle sources brands that are in alignment with Black Girl Bravado, such as Thrive Causemetics and Quip, and provides quick monetization turnarounds. Moreover, tremendous amount of the hideous admin work is lifted by an extremely user-friendly interface. Within 12 months, the Black Girl Bravado sees significant growth in different areas:
- More than 95% revenue increase
- Number of ad campaigns doubled
- Podcast downloads increased 50%
“The ability to monetize our show in a way that we weren’t in the past has been such an unexpected blessing. We’ve been able to triple our monthly income via the ad partnerships and the brand partnerships that RedCircle brings to us.”
Germani Manning & Brittany Lackey,
The Black Girl Bravado Podcast
Audio link to the full case study
We are excited to announce our partnership with multi-hyphenate artist/influencer Bri Hall on her new podcast “Count to Ten”! Los Angeles-based creator Bri Hall has amassed over 1.1 million followers across social media plus 50 million views and counting on YouTube. Utilizing her dedicated fanbase and established platform, Hall hopes to open an honest dialogue around delicate and indispensable topics such as race/racism, feminism, sexuality, intersectionality, the model minority, DACA/Dreamers, invisible disabilities, mental health, and more.
‘Count to Ten’ is a statement of defiance against the notion of “staying calm”—something individuals in marginalized groups are told to undermine their experiences when facing complex issues around social and racial injustices, gender or identity inequality, mental health, and more. Taking ownership of the phrase “count to ten,” the podcast is Bri Hall’s way of breaking that silence and creating a safe, educational yet entertaining space where listeners can feel seen and heard. Throughout the podcast, Hall will tap a special guest to provide their unique insight and expertise on select themes.
Bri’s creative genius paired with RedCircle’s editing and production prowess has opened a new avenue for creators. In addition to production, RedCircle’s overall podcast management of “Count to Ten ” allows for a deeper host/creator partnership than typically offered by other hosting companies This partnership allows Bri as much creative freedom as possible while RedCircle does the heavy lifting! RedCircle will oversee production, guest bookings, ad deals, cross-promotions, episode uploading, and distribution. This partnership structure removes the tedious and often daunting tasks that come with managing your own podcast and empowers podcasters to focus on their voice and message. It is an exciting opportunity for RedCircle to gain deeper, more meaningful connections with podcasters while empowering them to make a living doing what they love.
When asked her sentiment on starting her newest podcast endeavor, Bri said “ “I’m excited to share a huge part of myself that supporters don’t always get to see from an Instagram photo or a makeup tutorial. Between filming for videos and creating content, I’m deeply engaged in conversations with colleagues, friends, and family about social justice, personal struggles, and marginalized identity. It feels like such an organic step to use my platform to further delve into these stories on a larger scale. I hope that people will learn more about marginalized identities and themselves through this podcast. Oftentimes, the gap between empathy and apathy is a lack of understanding and a fear of asking the wrong questions. By having a first person, fly-on-the-wall invitation into these conversations, I hope a deep feeling of connection between diverse communities will emerge for my fans and new listeners.”
Written by Lindsay Harris Friel
It’s not hard to make a podcast. It’s difficult to make a good podcast. Some folks buy a microphone and dive in head first, only to spend days editing afterward. Others labor in the planning stage, overthinking every decision and never publishing. You do have to try it, make mistakes, learn from them, and use that information to your advantage. Before that happens, though, I’d like to make the journey easier for you. Here are five ways to make podcasting easier.
1. Eliminate Distractions
This doesn’t just mean “dedicate a quiet space for recording.” It also means having a space and time in which to plan your episodes, schedule recording sessions, edit your audio, and connect with your audience. Virginia Woolf wrote famously about “a room of one’s own,” a literal and figurative creative place. Make a quiet space, and schedule time for planning, recording, editing, publishing, and promotion. You don’t have to have a professional studio (though it doesn’t hurt). It’s not hard to make a silent home studio. People have made excellent podcasts in closets and blanket forts. As long as you can focus your effort consistently, and block out unwanted sound, it’s a good space.
2. Plan Ahead
How often do you want to release episodes? How many in a month? Once you know this, you can start thinking about how you want to fill those blocks of time. Write down your overall idea for your podcast’s topic. Let’s say your podcast is about fly fishing. Then, break that topic down into episodes. For example, you could have episodes about fly fishing in different locations, for different kinds of fish, with different kinds of equipment, and so on. Write down your episode plans and schedules, to maintain a good overview of the project.
3. Batch Processing
Batch processing your episodes is a strategy that many podcasters swear by. If you wanted to bake cookies, you wouldn’t mix the ingredients for each cookie, then bake each cookie individually, right? Batching your podcast means that you plan a group of episodes, then record them, then edit all of the recordings, then upload and publish them in a series. This lets you focus on one particular task or skill at a time. It also means that you can take advantage of different resources for different podcasting stages. For example, you can record or edit several episodes at a time, when no one else is home and your house is quiet, but publish and promote them at another time.
4. Use Tools
Adding extra apps and software to your podcasting might seem like extra work. But, the time you spend learning to use any of these tools is time and effort you can save later on.
- Trello, or another task scheduling software, can help you plan your episodes, schedule recording, complete editing, and publish on a consistent schedule.
- A social media scheduling tool can publish your podcast’s social media for you, so that you don’t have the distractions that social media provides.
- Canva has free templates and systems to help you make great podcast art.
- Alitu is an all-in-one web-based podcasting solution. It will help you record, edit, polish, and publish your podcast, so you can focus on creating great content, and connecting with your audience.
These apps might mean spending a little money, and a little extra time in the beginning. But, the assistance means you can deliver a good podcast consistently, and become your audience’s favorite listening habit.
5. Know Your Podcast Niche and Your Audience
A podcast can’t be universally liked by everyone in the world. But, it’s not difficult for your podcast to have a small, loyal following. If you can engage with your audience properly, they’ll recommend it to their friends, and your audience grows.
Take some time to think about who your podcast is for. If your audience were a made-up character, what would that person be like? Think about that person’s habits, what they like and don’t. Some people might call this a “target demographic,” others would call it an audience avatar. Keeping this person in mind when you record, plan and promote, is like having a friend on the outside. If you keep them in mind while you record, you feel more purposeful. This helps you know where to promote your show, and what actions to take with it.
Your podcast’s niche is equally important. It’s the reason your ideal audience member would choose to download your podcast, instead of doing anything else. For example, with the (fictitious) fly fishing podcast we mentioned earlier, you can focus your topic further: not just fly fishing, but fly fishing in America, or more specifically in Wyoming, or in Wyoming by women who love Disney movies. Now, there’s a niche. Just imagine these fly-fisher-women, singing “Colors Of The Wind,” while casting lines in Rock Creek.
While we’re imagining an ideal audience, you should take time to engage with and reward yours. Don’t just reach out to your audience on social media. It’s free advertising, but it’s designed to be distracting. Instead, reach out to your listeners in ways where you have more control.
Make sure that your audience can get in touch. It’s never been easier to make a simple website for your podcast.. An email newsletter is a great way to position your updates front and center for your audience. But, what about simply thanking them, in your podcast episode? When people email, mention the show on social media or leave a review, thank them by name. Everyone likes to be remembered.
The fewer obstacles and friction between you and your podcast, the more chance there is you’ll keep going with it. With RedCircle, you won’t need to fork out a monthly fee for your podcast hosting and they have some great monetization options to help you earn once your show is established. RedCircle makes it super easy to be found in all notable podcast listening platforms too. All that’s left to do is choose your topic, grab your equipment, and hit record!
At RedCircle, we’re relentlessly pursuing our fundamental mission of helping independent podcasters to get paid and be heard. As our tools for distribution, analytics, growth, and monetization have matured, we’ve attracted podcasters of all shapes and sizes. RedCircle is great for hobbyists looking to step up, but it’s also an amazing suite of tools for professionals, indie networks, and production companies looking to maximize their revenue.
To better serve this evolving customer base, RedCircle is excited to announce a new set of features that help podcasters both big and small.
Collaboration and Control With Team Seats
With Team Seats, account owners can now invite their teammates to their Organization, complete with separate login credentials and fully customizable levels of access.
Co-creating a podcast with a friend? With Team Seats, you both can log in and manage the podcast independently, without having to share credentials.
Running a network and need to provide limited access for each podcaster? With Team Seats, each podcaster can get a login that allows them to fully manage their own podcast, without access to any others in the network. As the account owner, you can dive into all the podcasts on your account and view analytics across the network.
And if you run a major network with producers, creators, and salespeople, you can add as many Team Seats as you’d like, each with customizable access to any shows in your org.
This is one of our most requested features, so we’re very excited to see how our creators take advantage of these new collaboration capabilities!
Dive Deeper with New, More Comprehensive Analytics
We released a major update to the RedCircle analytics page last April, which added new data visualizations and upgraded the design so that we could add more widgets as our analytics capabilities grew. Today, we’re utilizing that new design and launching an entire suite of new more comprehensive analytics to help you get a deeper understanding of your audience, income, and podcast performance. Here’s just a few of the new analytics we’ve added:
Podcast Performance: Compare downloads across all the podcasts on your account.
Time of Day: Check out when your listeners are tuning in.
Exclusive Downloads: Understand the audience that’s behind the paywall for your exclusive content.
Dynamic Insertion Analytics: Get data on insertions by type, by episode, and for specific audio blocks. With this new data, you can more easily run dynamic insertion campaigns on your own show, and report back to advertisers on campaign progress.
Expanded Revenue Analytics: RedCircle helps you to monetize your content across several revenue streams. Our new revenue analytics lets you dive into the details of each monetization product, and observe your revenue growth over time.
New Account Plans and a Commitment to ‘Free’
With these new products and features comes a change to RedCircle’s pricing structure. Though we are committed to always offering a comprehensive free plan, these more advanced features will be part of our new paid account plans, as described on our new pricing page. These paid account plans also include access to other new features like Instant Payouts to get paid faster, one-click YouTube publishing on podcasts of all sizes, and more.
Is RedCircle Still Free?
We are absolutely committed to continuing to provide the best free tier that you can find in podcasting. We’ll continue to offer unlimited episodes, unlimited downloads, unlimited storage, access to our monetization products, and more, completely free. Our free plan is not designed to be an incomplete hosting solution that forces you to upgrade — it’s a fully functioning hosting product that will cover most podcasters’ needs.
The growth of our monetization products has been off the charts over the last 12 months — we’re putting millions of dollars in podcasters pockets and are excited to continue to grow with our creators. Adding these pricing plans, which are primarily oriented towards professional podcasters and indie networks, are not a change in our business model, but an extension to our offering that will allow RedCircle to deliver scale and revenue for podcasters that are large or small, independent or network-bound, and professionals or hobbyists.
What About Existing Users?
RedCircle’s existing active customers have been legacied into a special RedCircle Original Plan which includes just about all the features they have access to today on their existing podcasts, and will continue to be free.
RedCircle’s team is growing, our platform is expanding, and the revenue we’re delivering to podcasters is rapidly on the rise. We are incredibly excited to launch these new products, but we’re even more excited about delivering on our long-term mission of helping podcasters make money and be heard. More to come!
Los Angeles, California — September 2, 2021 — RedCircle, the leading podcast platform for independent creators, today announced that it has raised $6 million in Series A funding to meet growing customer demand. The round was co-led by EPIC Ventures and Refinery Ventures, with participation from SignalFire, Bloomberg Beta, MathCapital, and angel investors including Justin Wohlstadter, founder of Wonder, George Strampolos, founder of Fullscreen, and Eckart Walther, a contributor to the original RSS specification, among others.
A growing industry that’s leaving creators behind
The podcast industry is booming. According to eMarketer, podcasting will be a $2 billion industry by 2023, and by 2025, there will be over 144 million monthly podcast listeners in the United States. However, as the industry rapidly expands, most of the revenue lands in the hands of large publishers, while the independent creators – who have fueled the podcasting medium since inception – are usually locked out of the growth.
“Our data show that 65% of the listening is happening outside the top shows that are owned by Big Media and Big Tech. And yet, most of the money in the ecosystem ends up with these podcasts and networks,” stated Mike Kadin, co-founder, and CEO of RedCircle. “We built RedCircle to ensure that podcasters of all sizes can benefit from the industry’s growth. Simply put, we believe in democratizing access to podcast revenue.”
RedCircle’s technology for distribution, cross-promotion, dynamic audio insertion, listener payments, and automated advertising gives independent creators the same powerful tools as major publishers, allowing podcasters to compete on a level playing field.
Podcast monetization, democratized.
RedCircle helps independent podcasts monetize through the RedCircle Advertising Platform (RAP). RAP enables brands to purchase host-read ads or programmatic, pre-recorded advertising across a large number of podcasts through a fully automated platform. With tools for demographic targeting, advertising attribution, and brand safety, RAP allows brands and their agencies to establish a foothold in podcast marketing or scale their existing spend. RAP also takes the overwhelming operational overhead of executing podcast advertising campaigns out of the equation, allowing sophisticated, performance-minded marketers to point-and-click to create a campaign in a data-rich, self-service environment, similar to that of Facebook and Google. Hundreds of advertisers are already taking advantage of RedCircle’s inventory and are on pace to spend several million dollars in 2021. The majority of the revenue is distributed to the podcasters, supporting their creative work.
Many podcasters take advantage of the RedCircle Exclusive Content product, a cross-platform paywall that lets creators restrict bonus episodes to paying subscribers only. Podcasters can therefore build their subscription business and understand its growth in the exact same platform where they view audience analytics. Using Exclusive Content, RedCircle’s podcasters have amassed tens of thousands of paying subscribers, and many are generating six figures annually as a result.
Leveling the playing field
By bringing powerful tools to independent podcasters, RedCircle has been growing at an exponential rate since its inception in 2018, with thousands of monthly active podcasters earning several million dollars this year alone. With this new Series A funding, RedCircle plans to expand its team and enhance its offerings so that more podcasters can earn what they deserve.
“We’ve seen how software tools can empower independents against incumbents, like with Shopify and Amazon,” says Nick Efstratis, managing partner of EPIC Ventures, one of the investment round’s leads. “Considering the strength of the RedCircle team and their traction thus far, I’m confident that they can stand up to the big names in podcasting and ensure that podcasting revenue and resources become accessible to all.”
Founded in 2018 by Mike Kadin and Jeremy Lermitte, RedCircle provides a platform for podcasts and brands to scale their message. The platform helps podcasters with distribution, growth, and monetization, and its advertising platform helps brands purchase advertising efficiently, guaranteeing high ROI. The team is hiring for a large number of roles. Visit jobs.redcircle.com to apply.
We are thrilled to introduce the newly revamped RedCircle analytics dashboard to our community of creators. You’ve asked for more robust analytics, and we’ve listened! As the world of podcasting evolves and becomes increasingly more data-driven, it’s of utmost importance for us to provide the most accurate and detailed analytics to our users!
The new analytics dashboard will showcase all of your analytics, all in one place! Additionally, we’ve paid close attention to the new design to ensure a sleeker appearance and a more streamlined user experience. Select a date range and you’ll now be able to see both your overtime and cumulative metrics. The revamped analytics dashboard will allow podcasters access to detailed metrics, beyond just downloads
These changes are just the beginning! Keep an eye out for even more updates in the near future!
RedCircle, one of the largest free podcast hosting platforms, has enabled programmatic advertising for its community of podcasters and advertisers. Programmatic pre-recorded ads will enable creators to earn more consistent revenue from their work and adds another method of monetization to the expanding suite of options.
The RedCircle Ad Platform (RAP) has expanded its suite of advertising products which now includes “Programmatic” advertising in addition to “Host-Read.” RAP is a podcaster’s one-stop shop to monetize their show with advertising, all from inside their RedCircle account, and allows brands and agencies the power to easily purchase ad inventory and run campaigns across an array of podcasts. With thousands of podcasters on the platform, and shows spanning every conceivable topic, Programmatic Advertising is the newest addition to RedCircle’s suite of monetization products that puts more money into creators’ pockets.
This is RedCircle’s fourth monetization feature released in less than two years after launching in April of 2019. Whether it’s donations, subscriptions, programmatic ads, or host-read endorsements, RedCircle gives every podcaster the opportunity to make money in a way that fits their style and strategy.
RedCircle is a platform for podcasts and brands to scale their messages. RedCircle’s monetization features empower creators to create their own audio empires by growing their audience and earning money through advertising, listener donations, and paywall subscriptions. For brands, RedCircle provides scalable access to potential customers through thousands of vetted independent creators and networks.
We are thrilled to officially offer programmatic advertising for our incredible community of creators! In partnership with Adswizz, we have developed a fully scalable monetization solution that individually optimizes each listener’s ad experience while putting more money in our creator’s pockets.
What is programmatic advertising?
Programmatic advertising is very similar to streaming music ads. Pre-recorded ads will automatically be inserted into your predesignated ad insertion points. The more ad insertion points, the more opportunities for you to earn money.
How does it work?
Programmatic ads can be enabled on all podcasts with 500+ weekly downloads. The programmatic ad marketplace allows brands to bid at scale on a given amount of downloads. This process is almost instantaneous! As listeners download your show, our platform will assess how many available ad blocks there are and allow brands to dynamically insert their ads based on your show’s content and opted in categories. The beauty of it all is that two listeners could download the same episode at the same time and get an entirely different set of ads targeted directly to them.
Get started using programmatic ads
To enable programmatic ads, podcasters should go through the RedCircle Ad Platform (RAP). In RAP, you can opt into Host-Read and programmatic ads by going to the advertising section of your account > “Edit Profile” > “Programmatic Settings”.
The specific aspects of programmatic ads that we’ll need from you are:
- Your show’s primary category
- Any advertising categories you wish to exclude from playing on your show (eg if you don’t want political ads running, you can check “Politics” as one of your exclusions)
After you enable programmatic ads, be sure to double-check that your insertion points are at your desired position! The great thing about programmatic is that it’s “set it and forget it” meaning you don’t need to review or accept any of these ads, you just need to make sure your Default Ad Block insertion points are at timestamps in their episodes that sound natural for an ad break, to ensure an ad doesn’t cut you off in the middle of a sentence.
I’m all set up, now what?
Sit back and let the money roll in. The best part about this feature is it all happens in real-time. No need to approve audio or accept offers, as long as you set any category exclusions, and indicate where in your episodes you’d want ad breaks, we’ll do the rest. If you have any current ads running, no need to worry. We will prioritize all host-read ads first and programmatic second.
We can’t wait to see how you use programmatic ads in your podcast!
When done well, podcasts are one of the most effective channels for brands to reach their target audience when they are most engaged. It’s no surprise that brands, big and small, are devoting more and more marketing budget to podcast advertising. In fact, over the last several years, brand spend on podcasting has tripled. That said, there is also a bit of a learning curve when it comes to podcast advertising and it’s easy to make mistakes, especially if you’re new to the channel. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or launching your first podcast ad campaign, here are a few of the most common pitfalls in podcast advertising and how you can avoid them.
Not providing a unique offer
Unlike other digital channels, the promo code or unique URL is the primary way to track the performance of a direct response campaign. A bad or lacklust offer simply won’t generate good results. So, it’s especially important to customize your offer directly to the audience you’re trying to reach and make sure it’s simple enough to understand and compelling enough to motivate a new customer to take action. Which is why you want to avoid using the same offer that you’re using in other channels or an offer that is readily available to everyone that visits your website. If you’re automatically offering free shipping on all orders, then free shipping won’t be an effective offer for your podcast campaign.
Treating podcasts like other mediums
Many marketers mistakenly assume that they can apply the same strategies from social media and other paid advertising channels to podcasting. But podcasts are different and much more intentional than other forms of media. When someone listens to a podcast, they are highly engaged in the content and much more invested than they would be scrolling through instagram. Podcasts require more of an upfront investment and some patiences, since results tend to drive over longer time periods. It’s also important to be flexible and consider adapting your messaging and strategy to podcasting. You may have perfected your messaging in other channels, but there’s a good possibility that messaging will not translate directly to podcasts.
Making assumptions about your target audience
For a marketer that is passionate about podcasts, it can be tempting to want to advertise on your favorite shows to start. But, just because you like a podcast, it doesn’t mean that it will necessarily resonate and reach your target audience. In order to drive results, it’s important never to lose sight or make assumptions about your target audience when planning a podcast ad campaign. The most critical part of your ad is making sure the show, message, and offer are a good fit for the audience you’re trying to reach. Which is also why it’s smart not to adhere too strictly to a single category of shows. You can’t automatically assume that the health-conscious listeners you’re trying to reach are only interested in health-related podcasts, when you may be surprised to learn they are also dedicated listeners to comedy podcasts.
Prioritizing reach over frequency
Another common mistake marketers make is choosing big podcasts just because they assume that will reach the most people. Just because you’re advertising on Joe Rogan’s podcast doesn’t mean it will automatically drive great results. If the ad isn’t a good fit for the podcast and that audience, it won’t perform well. Instead of focusing on reaching the most people, it’s more important to focus on reaching the right people.
It’s much better to prioritize the frequency of your ad, over the ad’s reach when selecting podcasts for your campaign. No matter how great your ad or your product is, if a customer isn’t familiar with your brand, it’s very unlikely they’ll make a purchase after hearing just one ad. Marketing experts say that people need to hear about your product 7-10 times before they purchase. Which is why it’s smarter to select podcasts where you are able to purchase three to five ads that run consecutively, versus just one ad on a large podcast.
Get more tips on selecting the right podcasts for your campaign, here.
Not testing before scaling
One of the easiest ways to avoid making a common mistake and ensure you’re spending your budget smartly is to be diligent in testing your ad across a variety of shows and audiences before you start to scale your campaign. It’s always best to start small and figure out what exactly is working for your brand and audience before scaling up.
Once you’ve ran a few campaigns and experimented with different messaging, ad formats and podcast categories – it will become clear what is working and what isn’t. Like any other medium in marketing, testing and continuing to optimize your campaign based on the data is key to driving better performing campaigns.
RedCircle’s Advertising platform and team of experts helps you to launch a seamless campaign and save you from frustrating and costly mistakes. To learn more about advertising with RedCircle, sign up and we’ll get in touch!