Branded podcasts are a great way to do inbound marketing. They generate traffic that you can then convert. But how much does a branded podcast cost? How much money should you budget if your company wants to launch a podcast? And most importantly, what are the mistakes to avoid to maximize your chances of success while minimizing your podcast budget? These are some of the questions we address in full transparency in this article. We share our experience as a branded podcast agency and as podcast creators for our company.
- Some introductory words and statistics about podcasting
- How much does a branded podcast cost?
- Recording a podcast in a studio? Be careful with the budget!
- Price of the options available for a branded podcast
- What KPI’s should you monitor for your branded podcast?
- The different branded podcast formats
Podcasting is practiced by millions of content creators around the world. You can realize an amateur podcast for a fraction of the cost if you host it directly on a platform like Google Podcasts or Spotify. All you need is a good microphone (150€) and some time.
Therefore, the “amateur” podcast is very affordable, which is probably why podcasts are proliferating. In 2021, Spotify launched 300,000 new podcasts (mostly amateur) in just 3 months. And 20% more Spotify users now listen to one or more podcasts. Still, only 1% of podcasts exceed 23 episodes.
The cost for a personal podcast may be very low, but consistency is what builds loyalty and traffic. 98% of companies that start a podcast with internal resources stop before the 5th episode. Their efforts will have been in vain. Entrusting the project to a podcast agency is the best way to make the branded podcast sustainable.
Only 1% of podcasts exceed the 23rd episode.
The budget for a branded podcast will necessarily differ from that of an amateur podcast. Indeed, it is your brand image that is reflected through the podcast. Therefore, reflection, planning, and particular attention to the final product’s quality are essential.
Realized internally, a branded podcast will mobilize your employees, and you should value their time. Internalization is less efficient than outsourcing as it will require more of your employees’ time.
800/episode is a good starting budget for a company podcast.
Outsourced, a branded podcast can start at 500€/episode in its simplest version. For a more accomplished product, prices start at 800€/episode. At IntoTheMinds, this budget includes the following:
- the coordination of the project with the customer
- the initial training of the customer in podcasting
- the recording
- the editing, post-production, and quality control
- the preparation of metadata and distribution
- the delivery of finalized files
Below you will find a detailed overview of the costs for each step of creating a branded podcast. To calculate the fixed costs, we assumed a monthly podcast in interview mode and took an hourly rate of 100€. Most podcast agencies work at a minimum hourly rate of 100€, and inflation tends to push this hourly rate towards 120€.
We have excluded the non-recurring costs that you will have to take into account when launching your project:
- the kick-off of the project with the podcast creation agency
- design of the podcast, discussion of the editorial line, etc…
- the initial training, we give to each customer before recording the first episode
- creation or purchase of the music for the podcast
- the creation of the illustrations (thumbnail and banner) necessary for the podcast player
These non-recurring costs are to be absorbed throughout the podcast. In the first year (12 episodes), expecting 100€ fixed costs per episode is not exaggerated. In addition, there are recurring costs specific to the production of each podcast episode.
The recurring costs related to creating a company podcast amount to at least 750€. They break down as follows:
|Task description||Minimum workload per podcast||Material costs: minimum per podcast|
|co-ordination with the customer||1 hour|
|Recording (based on a 20-minute podcast)||1 hour||10€ for the platform rental|
|Importing files, synchronization, and editing||1 hour||10€ for software licenses|
|Post-production (removal of noise and filler words, selection of intro, assembly of sequences and music)||2 hours||10€ for software licenses|
|Confirmation by the customer and possible corrections||1 hour|
|Preparation and encoding of metadata||0,5 hour|
|Programming of the publication, verifications, and feedback to the customer||0,25 hour||10 to 20 € for the publishing platform|
|Verification and archiving of work files||0,25 hour|
|TOTAL||7 hours (700€)||50€ approximately|
Despite the dramatic advances in remote recording, some companies still prefer to record in a studio. If studio recording represents the best in terms of sound quality, it is important to keep in mind the following:
- that this does not prejudge the intrinsic quality of the podcast or its success
- that the content is the most important thing: only 5% of those who listen to podcasts are attentive to the sound recording quality.
Recording in a studio also limits your scope of action. In the case of a podcast in “interview” mode, it requires that your guests physically move.
The price of a podcast studio rental varies according to the location. Some associative studios can be rented for less than 50€/hour, but you should plan on 100€/hour in total autonomy for a professional studio. In other words, for this price, you take care of the technical aspects and the recording.
The price of a branded podcast can increase depending on the “options” you will choose for its realization: voiceover, original music, or video podcast, … Sometimes, the border with TV production can become very thin, and the costs will be affected. In this paragraph, we have listed the different options we propose to our customers to create their branded podcasts.
Our recording platform allows us to capture a separate video stream in 4K format simultaneously with the audio stream. It is, therefore, possible for us to propose a video version of your podcast for a very affordable price (from 250€ per episode).
To get your podcast discovered, you can’t rely on distribution platforms. It would be best to actively promote your podcast on social networks to attract your first listeners.
A search engine-optimized (SEO) article will enhance your podcast and improve its discoverability. At IntoTheMinds, the price of an article in one language starts at 250€.
The chapter breakdown lets you propose the most relevant sound bite according to your target audience. Remember that a podcast loses 50% of its audience in the first 30 seconds. Chaptering allows you to get to the heart of the matter and avoid audience attrition.
In concrete terms, we cut your podcast into 2 to 3-minute segments that we put online on a specific platform. The segments are then integrated into an article in the appropriate places. You can see an excellent example with the Assurly podcast here.
Voice-over is a “must” for narrative podcasts. In “interview” podcasts, you can use a voice-over during the jingle.
The price of a voice-over depends on
- the time
- of the artist who lends his voice
For a few seconds jingle, a budget of 100€ is reasonable. You will need to budget several hundred euros for a 10 to 20-minute narrative podcast recording. These rates can soar if you use a well-known voice.
A podcast’s return on investment (ROI) is often asked. It is a legitimate question, but it calls for some nuances.
First, you should not expect thousands of listeners from the first episode. Unless you pay a lot of money (promotion budget), building a loyal audience takes time (at least one season).
Listening growth will also be slower if you don’t simplify the “discoverability” of your podcast. Just by being on Spotify or Google Podcast, your podcast has little chance of finding an audience among thousands of others. If you don’t have the budget for targeted advertising (SEA), we advise you to opt for SEO. It will be “enough” to create a blog article around the podcast to simplify the indexing by search engines (from 250€).
We also advise you to double your audio podcast with a video version. The latter can be put online on YouTube, where indexation is easy and competition less tough than on Google.
The cost of a narrative podcast is higher than that of an interview podcast.
Two branded podcast formats co-exist. The first one is rather intended for internal communication and the second one is for external communication.
The narrative mode: perfect for internal communication
Storytelling is the basis of marketing and is exactly what the podcast proposes in narrative mode.
This format consists in telling a story in audio mode. The narration can be interspersed with sound bites and music to illustrate the point.
This type of podcast is particularly adapted for internal communication but is also suitable for thematic series. It is important to work well on the sound design of the podcast to keep the listener loyal. The design work is generally more important on this type of podcast, and the budgets are higher (plan for at least 1000€/episode, especially if you want to use a professional voice).
The interview is ideal for inbound marketing
The podcast in interview mode is probably the most common format. It can be found in both audio and video mode. It is the easiest format to realize and requires the least budget (from 800€ as indicated above).
However, pay attention to the “regularity” aspect. A podcast in interview mode requires the following:
- to find a distinctive editorial line
- to have guests and therefore to spend time looking for the
Don’t neglect these aspects because the long-term survival of your podcast depends on them. Set aside enough time to search for and convince your guests. We advise you to set aside 2 hours of your time for the planning of a single episode.
The branded podcast is an asset to your inbound marketing. It offers interesting perspectives because it is less competitive than the web format. You can develop a loyal audience if you are regular and do not stop. Entrusting the realization to a podcast agency is a guarantee of success because you outsource the workload. A budget for a quality podcast episode starts at 800€, which is relatively little compared to the price of other formats like video.