$100K Podcast Fund Launches for Early-Stage Creators


PodMov Daily: Wednesday, January 19

Episode 572: Your Midweek Update

$100K Podcast Fund Launches for Early-Stage Creators

A new podcast sponsorship fund will deliver one-time payments between $250 and $5,000 to up to 100 creators. According to Aria Bracci of Hot Pod, the new Podca$h program was launched by two companies, the audio platform Racket and financial software Stir. Applications will be open to US-podcasters until March 4.

“In podcasting, the rich tend to get richer,” said Racket founder and CEO Austin Petersmith. “We wanted to limit this campaign to people who have yet to make significant revenue for their podcasts. We also didn’t want to exclude those who have been at this for a while and are making, say, a few hundred dollars a month.”

Podca$h is a sponsorship program, “not a scholarship,” Bracci notes. (Funded creators will be asked to include an ad read for the companies on their eventual shows.) A panel of judges determining the recipients includes Jason Calacanis (This Week in Startups) and PM’s President, our own Dan Franks. Best of luck, friends.

Good Data: Listener Enthusiasm is Here to Stay

Is this level of podcast listener enthusiasm sustainable? “The data indicates a hard yes,” explains Caila Litman in Sounds Profitable. The veteran producer and strategist sifted through twenty-five industry podcast studies from 2021, coming away with answers for marketers, companies, and future-focused creators.

“I know that one or two strong data points have the power to quickly convey even the most complex stories,” Litman writes. For example, feedback from 2,000 monthly listeners. She breaks down Acast’s 67-page US Podcast Listening Landscape Study into five bullet points (including why the numbers matter). 

“Record-high listener enthusiasm” may be here to stay: “The future of audience engagement in audio will be about appealing to an emerging generation of power listeners — who are more diverse but just as aspirational as the OG audience.” Side note: This is the most entertaining data article you’ll read all week.

Early Bird rates for PM Evolutions last until midnight tonight! Whether you’ll be heading to LA or your living room this March, now’s the time to snag the lowest prices all year.

Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Stellar cast: The first round of Evolutions speakers is out, featuring experts like Matty Staudt (Amaze Media Labs), Laura Cathcart Robbins (The Only One in the Room), and Lauren Passell (Tink Media). This week’s PM update reveals 11 sessions on the Creator track and six on Pro Podcaster.
  • We suggest: Third Coast’s first-ever winners’ showcase is open to the public this month only. Chosen from 600+ submissions, the 11 best audio stories of 2021 are beautifully presented. Each one includes commentary from creators and judges, plus transcripts and video where applicable.
  • Time card: Tomorrow marks six weeks since the iHeart Podcast Union formed under the Writers Guild of America, East. iHeart management has yet to recognize the 125-strong union, despite its support from around 70% of employees. The division’s revenue is up 184% ($41.6 million) since 2020.
  • Hot minute: “A great first 90 seconds” is one of Matt Deegan’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective Podcasts. Not much can be done about the first one (long-running shows tend to top the charts), but the other points show how hit podcasts “respect listeners’ time with more killer and less filler.”

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