Monetizing podcasts isn’t always easy. And apparently, the same rule applies to podcast-consumption apps. That’s the ultimate truth Marco Arment, the developer of iOS podcasting app Overcast, has determined. In a lengthy blog post, Arment breaks down the monetization tactics he’s tried during Overcast’s first two years. And while those tactics did show momentary glimpses of hope, none of them seemed likely to work long term. That got Arment to consider some new monetization options:
Ads are the great compromise: money needs to come from somewhere, and the vast majority of people choose free-with-ads over direct payment. Ads need not be a bad thing: when implemented respectfully, all parties can get what they want.
Most podcasts played in Overcast are funded by ads for this reason, and as a podcaster and (occasional) blogger myself, I already make most of my income from ads.
Prior to this move, Arment had tried in-app subscriptions and a Patreon campaign to try and make Overcast a profitable endeavor. But those systems fell short of the mark. Arment is hopeful that running display ads inside of his app will prove to be more profitable in the long run. Overcast users who want to banish display ads and unlock all of Overcast’s features can also now buy a $9.99 subscription for one year.