True Crime podcasts have the best average revenue, according to an analysis by Rephonic. It says shows in the genre have an average $55,000 in revenue per year, capturing seven percent of total revenue, despite representing less than one percent of total active shows in the U.S. History and Comedy rank second and third with about $20,000 in average annual revenue.
“Roughly 40% of ad spend across all genres goes to [the] top 500 shows. For the True Crime category, this translates to 40% of ad spend being spent on the top 23% of podcasts,” it says in a blog post, explaining, “In other words, perhaps a lot of the ad revenue is going to giant shows like Crime Junkie and it's skewing the numbers.”
True Crime may be the biggest genre overall in terms of revenue, but Rephonic says its analysis shows that it is Sports podcasts that have the highest revenue per listener. They average more than three dollars per listener each year, compared to about $2.50 for Comedy and True Crime.
Some of the biggest genres also pocket less than a buck per listener each year, according to the analysis, including Business, Technology, Science, and Religion & Spirituality.
Rephonic also gauged how podcast monetization is developing around the world and it says Swedish podcasts generate the most ad revenue on average, generating just over $13,000 per year. That compares to sixth place U.S., where shows average about $8,000 per year.
On a per-listener metric, the winner is Finland, where the typical podcast generates more than six dollars per listener each year. The U.S. ranks seventh, with the typical show pulling in just under two dollars per listener per year.
“While our findings suggest that certain genres and countries might not be the best for advertising revenue, it’s not always that straightforward,” says Rephonic’s analysis. “In each category there’s a lot of variation; successfully monetizing a show depends on a range of factors, like the quality of the show, its marketability and the effectiveness of the marketing strategy.”