RadioPublic to shutter its Paid Listens experiment

RadioPublic has ended its Paid Listens program. This service, which offered payments for every thousand listens accumulated, debuted in February 2018. It was intended to help smaller podcasters monetize even if they lacked the resources to support advertisements in their episodes. More than 3,500 podcasters signed up to participate.

Last week, RadioPublic said that it would shutter the project. “Ultimately, we have decided to focus our attention and resources on the set of tools that are helping podcasters grow and engage audiences on and beyond RadioPublic,” Co-founder Jake Shapiro wrote in a blog post announcing the change. In an email exchange with RAIN News, Shapiro called the decision “straightforward,” and mentioned landing pages, the embed player, and Podsites as some of the tools RadioPublic is focused on.

“Paid Listens for podcasters is an innovative approach that other platforms should consider adopting, particularly when you run the numbers at scale,” Shapiro wrote. “If Apple, Spotify, Pandora, or others enabled a Paid Listens program, where podcasters opt-in to on-platform ads (and listeners pay to opt-out), an additional $100M – $250M would make its way to creators this year alone.”

Anna Washenko