In the podcasting community, the level of creativity that has driven some of the best shows has also been used to come up with unique ways to generate revenue for those shows. One of the most creative ways to generate revenue for a show has to be when Tim Henson (from the Distorted View) sold the naming rights to his different body parts. The sale resulted in well over $500 in revenue. But this was not Tim's first attempt to make money for his show; early in 2005 Tim also auctioned off a stale Kaiser roll on eBay, which his listeners helped bid the price up to $30.
Another unique idea for generating revenue came from a podcast whose format can only be explained as "Huh?": the Counting Numbers Podcast (www.countingthenumbers.com). In this podcast, yup, you guessed it, the host counts numbers. In the first show, he counted from 1 to 500; in the second show, he counted from 501 to 1,000, and so on. He then turned this format into a way to generate money. He created a grid of numbers and sold off numbers on the grid. When someone buys a number, a link is added to that number, and by clicking on it you are directed to a page for that buyer. Also, if you purchase a number and he reads that number, he stops and lets the listeners know who the number is brought to them by. This is a unique spin on the Million Dollar Homepage (www.milliondollarhomepage.com). If you are not familiar with this site, it was started by a student in the U.K. to raise some money to buy a car and pay for college. He created a grid of 1,000x1,000 pixels and sold each pixel at $1 each. He did sell out the grid, and in doing so made one million dollars.
Speaking of the Million Dollar Homepage, Andy from Space Ship Radio created a service for podcasters called Click Grid (www.clickgrid.com) that allows podcasters to add in a smaller version of the million-dollar home page right on their website (see Figure 18.12). You can customize the shape of the grid to match your site and also the amount you charge per box. Prices typically range from $15 to $25, and grids have 300 to 1,000 boxes. If you are able to fill up your grid, you can generate from $5,000 to $25,000 per year on your grid.
Figure 18.12. Click Grid on the Distorted View website.
Those who have made money podcasting have done so through the hard work of building up their audience and then picking a method to monetize their audience that they felt was the least likely to drive their listeners away. As a podcast producer, you have many different options available to you to help generate revenue from your podcast. You should look at your show and your audience and decide which methods will work the best, and make sure any potential advertiser has something that would be of interest to your audience. Then be ready to make a change if you guessed wrong.